Update – 2011-08-10 @ 2236 hrs:
Police now believe he stole another truck in Christiansburg this morning, and was seen in Blacksburg “shortly before noon”. This fits with what I had heard earlier today. It sounds like he’s staying in the Blacksburg/Christiansburg area – probably because it’s familiar territory. The vehicle is reported as a white 1982 Chevrolet truck, with either a Virginia license plate that reads “F73024” or red “Farm Use” tags.
Again, pay attention. Maintain a heightened Condition Yellow (or, as I call it, Condition Amber – somewhere between Yellow and Orange), and for God’s sake CARRY YOUR GUN!
Those who were paying attention to Monday’s events here at Virginia Tech may have noticed another “man with a gun” report that got buried in the hysteria. It was noted at the bottom of one of the updates at the first story I linked to above.
Meanwhile, as the alert broke on the Tech campus this morning, Christiansburg had a similar report that upon investigation gave no signs of danger, said town spokeswoman Becky Wilburn.
A person told a Montgomery County deputy that they spotted a man with a holstered gun in the vicinity of the Montgomery County Health Department building, Wilburn said. Officers combed the area and only found a person with a cell phone on the hip, she said.
Unlike the campus report, it now looks like there may have been something to the Christiansburg report. Today, we see this story.
Christiansburg police have obtained warrants charging DeHart with felony larceny of a vehicle and felony possession of ammunition by a convicted felon in connection with two incidents Monday morning in which a suspicious man was reported in a field off Roanoke Street and a truck was reported stolen from nearby.
Now, this may or may not be the same person, but the coincidence is too much to ignore.
Notice the bit about “possession of ammunition by a convicted felon?” Turns out he has a bit of a history.
According to Roanoke Times archives, DeHart has been convicted of more than two dozen counts in connection with burglaries and larcenies. He and his brother were convicted in connection with a series of break-ins and thefts in 1989 that spanned almost 20 jurisdictions in three states along Interstate 81.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has warrants charging him with arson, grand larceny and breaking and entering in connection with an incident reported July 30.
Sources I cannot name at this time say he may have been spotted in Blacksburg this morning. Like all such reports, it could be a false alarm – the vehicle he is suspected of stealing was found abandoned in Roanoke, so that’s a bit of a distance to travel unless he hitched a ride or stole another vehicle to get back here. Still, it is possible.
If you’re a here, and you’re a reader of mine, be alert, and aware!
[Source: Roanoke Times story, retrieved 8/10/11]