January 30, 2008

Man Arrested for Fourth Time in Parking-Meter Break-INS

In the quiet early morning hours in Charleston's East End, the soft purring of a small engine can sometimes go unnoticed.

But Capitol police and security guards now know to pay attention to such noises. They could mean someone is breaking into another parking meter.

William David Sailsbury, 44, of Charleston, was arrested Monday for the fourth time in a little more than a month and charged with stealing money from parking meters near the state Capitol.

At one point last month, Sailsbury was so brazen he plugged an extension cord for his drill into the outside of the Capitol guardhouse on Piedmont Road, said Randy Mayhew, deputy director of the state Division of Protective Services.

That was on Dec. 22. Sailsbury's drill blew a circuit breaker in the guardhouse, leading to his first arrest by Capitol police. Charleston police had arrested him a few days before for breaking into meters in the East End neighborhood surrounding the Capitol.

Police say Sailsbury got between $150 and $170 from breaking into seven double-headed parking meters the night of Dec. 22. It cost about $293 to replace the collection areas inside the meters.

After Sailsbury received a personal recognizance bond - a get- out-of-jail-free card - from a Kanawha magistrate, police believe he was back at the Capitol the next night. They failed to capture him after a brief chase.

After that, police believe, Sailsbury learned one lesson and began using a cordless drill.

On Jan. 17, two more meters were broken into. Once again, police suspected Sailsbury, who was recorded on surveillance video walking across the Capitol campus at all hours of the night.

Capitol Police Sgt. Tim Johnson went to visit Sailsbury at his East End residence that day.

Sailsbury admitted to breaking into the meters, saying he got between $32 and $34 from his last heist, Johnson said.

The sergeant took the drill and got an arrest warrant for destruction of property, but Sailsbury made himself scarce ... until just after midnight on Monday.

Police believe he came back to the Capitol with a new 18-volt cordless drill and managed to break into three parking meters before he was spotted around 1 a.m.

He got away, and then came back at around 4 a.m. to hit two more meters.

He fled when he saw Capitol police, who pursued him on foot. They found him a short time later hiding against the east side of the Capitol, along with his drill, Johnson said.

After police explained their dilemma to Kanawha County Magistrate Kim Aaron - they believe he has broken into 24 meters in slightly more than a month - she placed a $3,000 cash bond on Sailsbury, preventing him from getting out of jail quickly.

He was being held at the South Central Regional Jail on Monday evening.