Students charged in residence hall thefts

Three UVa-Wise freshmen were recently charged with conspiring to steal nearly $1,000 in electronics, clothing and textbooks from residents in McCraray Hall.

The charges stem from larcenies that were reported to campus police in November, according to documents filed in Wise County General District Court.

Zaukeus O’Shane Witcher and Kelvin Kenneth Lee, both 19, are each charged with two counts of felony grand larceny and one count of felony conspiracy to commit grand larceny.

Wardel Elijah Penn-Timity, 19, is charged with conspiracy to commit grand larceny and misdemeanor trespassing.

Officials believe Witcher and Lee pilfered two 32-inch televisions, two jackets and two textbooks from third-floor rooms in McCraray Hall in mid-November, according to a criminal complaint filed in court by campus police Officer Kevin Yates.

Witnesses told Yates that they had seen the pair “carrying a large black luggage type bag out of McCraray Hall on the same date these incidents occurred,” Yates wrote.

Those witnesses told Yates the bag appeared to have “large items” inside.

Other witnesses said they saw Witcher and Lee use credit card-type cards to break into the McCraray Hall rooms without using a key.

The men stashed the stolen goods in vehicles owned by friends, who were apparently unaware of what was inside, Yates wrote.

Yates said Penn-Timity, meanwhile, admitted to acting as a lookout while Witcher and Lee were in the rooms.

Penn-Timity, already facing an unrelated shoplifting charge from September for allegedly stealing a bottle each of Captain Morgan and Hennessy from the ABC store in Norton, was banned from campus after admitting to his role in the robbery conspiracy, court records show.

When he later showed up in Culbertson Hall in mid-December, he was charged by campus police with trespassing.

Witcher and Lee have since been banned from campus as well, said campus police Chief Steve McCoy.

All three men next have court hearings scheduled for March 6.

Jordan Fifer

Interdisciplinary studies major Jordan Fifer served as The Highland Cavalier's editor-in-chief and online editor in the 2012-2013 academic year. He previously served as staff writer, news editor and photo editor.

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