The taking of another person’s possessions or property is a crime in West Virginia. Although the penalties for burglary are not as lasting as those attached to more serious crimes, the repercussions can nevertheless damage a person’s reputation and overall wellbeing. Each state contains different penalties for burglary, but those penalties can often change.

At the end of the summer, the city of Keyser saw a series of burglary cases finally come to a close. Mineral Daily News-Tribune shared that West Virginia State Police arrested four residents in the area in connection with the string of burglaries that took place in recent months. The string was so immense that the Keyser Police Department, the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department and members of the West Virginia State Police Tucker County Detachment were all involved. Together, state officials helped recover about $20,000 worth of stolen property. Not only were the West Virginia locals arrested on counts of burglary; they also faced charges for breaking and entering of homes and an automobile, conspiracy, transferring and receiving stolen property and prohibited possession of a firearm, among other charges. 

This major arrest appears to have come just in time for West Virginia’s potentially changing laws regarding burglary crimes. According to WHSV News, a breaking and entering bill passed in the West Virginia Senate earlier this year. The bill would apply one straightforward breaking and entering charge, regardless of the time of day at which the crime took place. Currently, daytime burglaries do not come with the same penalties as those occurring at night; the bill would include both as felonies. The bill also takes a closer look at the types of dwelling houses where burglaries take place, confirming the state’s tightening the grip on the consequences of committing such crimes.