Two men arrested on auto theft charges

Darrell Orval Hamm

WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Toms Brook men Wednesday on multiple car theft charges after a stolen SUV caught fire.

Joshua Wayne Dellinger, 30, and Darrell Orval Hamm, 35, are accused of taking a 1993 Ford Explorer from Love’s Travel Stop sometime between July 3 and July 5, the criminal complaint states.

Dellinger told authorities that his girlfriend, Veronica Saylor, was working at the travel stop when she informed Dellinger that there was an SUV that had been sitting on the parking lot for several weeks, the complaint alleges. Dellinger and Saylor live in a recreational trailer on Hamm’s Toms Brook property.

Hamm loaded the SUV on his flatbed trailer and dropped it off at Dellinger’s residence, the complaint alleges. Dellinger told authorities that the keys to the SUV were left inside the vehicle near the speedometer, and the title to the SUV was inside as well. He added that the vehicle would not start and he intended on fixing it.

“He said he and his girlfriend are expecting a baby and could use the vehicle,” the complaint states about Dellinger.

Joshua Wayne Dellinger

On the night of July 6, while Dellinger was working on the SUV, a “spark from a tool he was using” ignited gasoline that had leaked from the vehicle, causing a fire. Assistant Fire Marshal Joe Loving responded to the call to investigate the situation, and discovered that the vehicle belongs to a Stanley Strzegowski, of Maurertown.

The SUV’s title was in Dellinger’s red car, which was parked at Hamm’s residence. The title had a name that appeared to be misspelled and then corrected, the complaint states.

Loving contacted Strzegowski about the situation, and Strzegowski said that he left his SUV at the travel stop in June to pick up a tractor trailer and had left to work. Strzegowski said he planned on coming back to the travel stop after the driving job was completed, and was “unaware” that his SUV had been taken and burned, the complaint states. Strzegowski also said that the printed name and signature on the title were not his.

Both Dellinger and Hamm admitted that they made no attempts to contact the vehicle’s owner.

On Tuesday, after the investigation, Loving applied for a warrant for Dellinger and Hamm’s arrest. Authorities found Hamm sitting in a vehicle on his property and arrested him without incident. Hamm had a holstered handgun on his hip and two glass pipes in his pocket which Hamm admitted he used to smoke methamphetamine that morning. In Hamm’s car, authorities found a plastic bottle that “appeared to contain residue and waste from the manufacture of methamphetamine,” the complaint also alleges.

Hamm was charged with two counts of grand larceny of an automobile, possession of a controlled substance, manufacturing a controlled substance and possessing a gun with a controlled substance. He has a criminal history of recklessly handling a firearm and property destruction. Bail determination documents state that Hamm was very cooperative, and was released on a $5,000 secured bond.

Dellinger was also charged with two counts of grand larceny of an automobile, and was  charged with forging a certificate of title. He has a prior criminal history of theft, domestic assault and battery, and two vandalism charges, court documents state. They also state that Dellinger was cooperative when taken into custody. Dellinger was released on a $2,500 secured bond. At this time there are no charges against Saylor.

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