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Suspected escapee accused in burglary, vehicle theft

By Joe Beck

Law enforcement officials say they believe a man arrested early Sunday morning in Wythe County is the same suspect wanted in a burglary and car theft hours earlier in Woodstock.

Shenandoah County Maj. Scott Proctor said Monday that felony charges of burglary, auto theft and grand larceny are pending against Matthew Alan Barley, 27, of Tazewell. Proctor said Barley is being held in the New River Regional Jail in Dublin after his arrest around 6:30 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 81.

Proctor said deputies suspect Barley is the same man who was picked up along the road by another man Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The driver allowed his passenger to stay at his residence in the 900 block of Stultz Gap Road in Woodstock, Proctor said.

At about 5:04 a.m., deputies arrived at the home to take a report from the occupant that his vehicle, a 2010 red Chevrolet of unknown model, had been stolen, and the man who had been staying there was missing. Two cell phones were also missing, according to Proctor.

"He was there until the early morning hours," Proctor said of Barley, adding that the occupants of the house "gave him a place to stay for the night."

Proctor said deputies subsequently concluded that the man who disappeared from the home had escaped earlier from his work release job at George's Chicken at 19992 Senedo Road in Edinburg. Barley had been serving a sentence at the Linville Men's Diversion Center in Rockingham County, but the details of his incarceration were unknown as of Monday afternoon, Proctor said.

"We issued a statewide be on the lookout alert for the stolen vehicle and Mr. Barley," Proctor said.

Proctor said Barley "was involved in some type of action with law enforcement" at around 6:30 a.m. on Interstate 81 in Wythe County.

"Apparently, the vehicle was wrecked and resulted in him being taken into custody," Proctor said Barley.

Proctor said Shenandoah County deputies subsequently fielded a report of a burglary from a neighbor of the man in the 900 block of Stultz Gap Road. Proctor said the neighbor reported that Barley had broken into his home and taken a wallet with "some miscellaneous items" before leaving with the stolen vehicle from the other residence.

Proctor said the wallet has been recovered, but he was unsure about the other items reported missing from the two residences.

Barley is scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County General Circuit Court at 2 p.m. June 14 on the burglary charge. The auto theft and larceny charges are scheduled for 2 p.m. June 28 in Shenandoah County General District Court.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


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