Government, The Braxton Democrat

Gassaway Theft Leads to Husband and Wife’s Arrest

On January 24, Gassaway Police Chief A. L. James received a complaint from Chris Drake stating that his property, located at 360 State St. Gassaway had been broken into. He told the officer that several items were stolen as well as a substantial amount of electrical wire had been cut from under his house.
During Chief James’ investigation he discovered a yellow pair of pliers and a pair of sunglasses left at the scene. This officer suspected the perpetrator to be Jared Smearman since the Chief had personally observed Mr. Smearman with both exact items in the past. This officer had also witnessed Smearman hanging out in the area not too long before the incident occurred. Smearman’s lengthy criminal history indicated that he has been suspected of this type of crime in the past.
The Police Chief advised the home owner to purchase a camera system to identify the individual in the event he returned.
On February 8 Chief James received a second complaint from Mr. Drake stating that his property was again broken into and several more items were stollen as well as more wire being cut out and taken. The home owner stated that this time his new camera system took several pics and videos of two individuals committing the crime. Also, at the scene of the crime was a footprint impression from a boot worn by one of the perpetrators.
Upon reviewing the video recording the officer easily identified the two suspects as Jared and Cassondra Smearman of Gassaway. James obtained warrants for Mr. Smearman on charges Grand Larceny and Breaking and Entering.
On the evening of February 8, Chief James, along with Patrolman A. Shingler and Trooper D. Groves, located the couple walking out of Gassaway. Upon speaking to Mr. Smearman, the officers advised him of the felony warrants for his arrest. Spearman told the investigators that he had never been to Mr. Drakes’ property. He continued to say that he had never stolen anything and had never been near the property in question.
The Chief then asked Mrs. Smearman if she had any knowledge of her husband being on the property and stealing the wire or other items. She stated that she knew nothing about it and had no idea where Mr. Drakes’ property was located. This officer then showed Mrs. Smearman an actual picture of both her and Mr. Smearman on the Drake property at the time as well as Mr. Smearman cutting and stealing the wire. Cassondra Smearman then stated that she was on the property on Monday and that she did watch Mr. Smearman take the wire and other items. She admitted that she first lied to officers about the situation and was regretful. She also stated that she and her husband were there on Monday, February 5, to take the wire and other items. She added that she knew Mr. Smearman had taken the copper wire to the Gassaway Recycle center on Wednesday Feb. 7, 2024, and sold it but she did not know how much money he received. This officer advised Mrs. Smearman that there would likely be follow-up questions and warrants for her arrest the following day.
The Chief and Patrolman Shingler transported Mr. Smearman to CRJ for booking. While on the way to CRJ Smearman admitted to the officers that he was on Mr. Drakes property and did steal the copper. He further stated that he was sorry for lying to both officers. The boots that Mr. Smearman was wearing at the time of his arrest visually matched the tread pattern of the print left on scene.
On February 9 authorities obtained additional video evidence from the homeowner as well as receipts from the Gasaway recycle center from where Smearman turned in the copper wire. The Chief then obtained warrants for Mrs. Smearman for Breaking and Entering, Destruction of Property, Felony Conspiracy and Obstructing. On that same day officers filed additional charges on Mr. Smearman for Destruction of Property, Felony Conspiracy and Obstructing.
Jared Heath Smearman, 43, and Cassondra Carol Smearman, 34, were both arraigned on the charges before Braxton County Magistrate David Singleton. Their bond was set at $10,000 each. Both remain incarcerated in the Central Regional Jail at press time awaiting additional count proceedings.