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Big Stone Gap man sentenced in trio of burglaries

Wes Bunch • Feb 7, 2014 at 10:28 PM

GATE CITY — A Southwest Virginia man who pleaded guilty last year to three Duffield-area burglaries was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday during an appearance in Scott County Circuit Court.

Devan Wayne Statzer, 26, 140 Huff Farm Road, located in the Lee portion of Big Stone Gap, was given a 12-year sentence with six years suspended by Circuit Court Judge John Kilgore.

Statzer entered Alford pleas in December to two counts of breaking and entering and two counts of grand larceny and a no-contest plea to a single count each of breaking and entering and grand larceny.

He could face an additional 16 years in prison pending a probation violation hearing.

Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung said the sentence Statzer received was justified given his prior criminal record.

“Mr. Statzer’s criminal record and past caught up with him today and more time may be added when we have a hearing on his probation violation,” McClung said.

The charges against Statzer stemmed from a trio of burglaries that took place in March 2012: the office of Ward’s Used Cars, the law office of Lisa McConnell and the office of 23 Auto Sales. All three businesses are located in the Duffield area.

Statzer allegedly made off with a safe containing car titles and keys for 20 automobiles kept on the Ward’s lot and a flat-screen television that was found inside the office.

The TV and the majority of those car titles and keys were reportedly recovered and returned to Ward’s.

Statzer was also charged with stealing a laptop computer from McConnell’s office. The laptop was also found and returned, authorities said.

Statzer also took various pieces of computer equipment from the 23 Auto Sales office, authorities said.

Statzer was identified as a possible suspect in the break-ins when an off-duty police officer reportedly overheard a conversation in which Statzer mentioned being in possession of multiple car titles.

Shortly after that conversation was heard, Scott County authorities were able to obtain a search warrant for Statzer’s residence after receiving a tip from an anonymous source.

Statzer was on probation for numerous other felonies, including burglaries, when the Duffield break-ins occurred.

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