Juvenile accused of area carjacking

WHEELING – A juvenile is in custody after he allegedly stole a car at gunpoint from two men at a popular fishing spot in Wellsburg Wednesday afternoon.

Wellsburg police Lt. Lester Skinner said the incident happened just after 3 p.m. near Wellsburg’s sewer treatment plant, located at the south end of town. Wheeling police, who are not releasing the suspect’s name because he is only 17, caught up with the alleged carjacker a short time later in the Warwood area.

The boy is lodged at the Lincoln Juvenile Detention Center in Wheeling pending a court hearing, police said.

Skinner said the car, a red Mitsubishi Eclipse, was parked near the treatment plant, which is located along the Ohio River near the mouth of Buffalo Creek. He said the two victims, both males, were fishing when the suspect approached them.

“The guy walks up to the top of the bank. … He pulls a gun – a small revolver is how they described it,” Skinner said.

After showing the weapon, the suspect reportedly asked the two victims if the Mitsubishi was their car. When they replied that it was, the suspect demanded their keys, wallets and cellphones before speeding away to the south in the vehicle.

Wheeling police Lt. Michael Anderson said officers found the stolen car parked in the Warwood area and took the suspect into custody without incident on Wheeling Heritage Trail near North 25th Street and Hazlett Avenue. He said officers did not recover a gun, and were unsure of the motive for the carjacking.

Skinner commended the victims for their assistance in providing a detailed description of the suspect as being 5 feet, 9-10 inches tall with dirty blond hair, an unshaven face and wearing a red football jersey with black shorts.

Police took the victims to the arrest scene in Wheeling, where they positively identified the suspect, he added.

“They did a good job retaining information and relaying that information,” Skinner said.