GALLIPOLIS — A Point Pleasant man alleged to have utilized a credit card belonging to the Point Pleasant Fire Department for unauthorized transactions at the Gallipolis Walmart was recently arraigned in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County on a charge of receiving stolen property.
Timothy J. Blake, 39, pleaded not guilty to a fifth degree felony charge of receiving stolen property during a hearing last week in the common pleas court.
The indictment in this case alleges that Blake was in possession of a credit card belonging to the Point Pleasant Fire Department — property obtained through a theft offense — on September 15, 2012.
According to the report filed with the Gallipolis Police Department, Point Pleasant Fire Chief Jeremy Bryant reported to police on October 23, 2012, that a credit card belonging to the fire department had been used multiple times at the Gallipolis Walmart for as many as seven unauthorized transactions, as well as at Tractor Supply in Gallipolis from September 1, 2012, through October 23, 2012.
The suspect, who would reportedly make a small purchase and ask for cash back on the transactions, was later identified by Bryant through surveillance photos obtained from Walmart, according to the report.
Additionally, the fire chief told police that the credit card had been issued to the assistant fire chief, James Blake, who is, reportedly, the suspect’s father.
At the time the offense was reported to the Gallipolis Police Department in October, Blake was a member of the Point Pleasant Fire Department.
An indictment in this case outlining the charge of receiving stolen property was filed on November 14, 2012, with the common pleas court, and a warrant was issued for Blake’s arrest.
The defendant was reportedly arrested as a fugitive from justice by a trooper with the Mason County Detachment of the West Virginia State Police early last month and was transported to the Western Regional Jail.
A motion to recall the warrant and issue a summons for the defendant’s appearance in court was later filed on January 17 by Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins and was granted by the court. An arraignment hearing was scheduled for January 30.
Subsequently, during Blake’s extradition hearing in the Mason County Circuit Court on January 18, the case was dismissed as the warrant from Gallia County had been recalled by the State of Ohio.
During last Wednesday’s hearing before Gallia County Common Pleas Judge D. Dean Evans, a jury trial was scheduled in this case for June 13. A negotiated plea may be filed by May 13.
Blake was later released on a $5,000 own recognizance bond.
Blake also recently appeared before Mason County Circuit Court Judge David W. Nibert for an arraignment relating to charges in Mason County.
Reportedly, Blake pleaded not guilty to attempted burglary, the destruction of property and not guilty to entering without breaking and petit larceny. A pretrial is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. on February 7 and a trial at 9:30 a.m. on February 19 in the circuit court.