ROMNEY — A good deal turned into a nightmare for a Hampshire County woman last week when her van was carjacked behind Helping Hands.
“It makes me very sad,” said the victim, who asked to not be identified. “I was in my hometown. I was a block and a half from my work.”
Within an hour, the van was recovered — totaled — and the people apparently responsible were behind bars.
Adriana Elaine Flanary, 28, and Jason Daniel Wolford, 35, both face a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle in Hardy County and charges of grand larceny and conspiracy in Hampshire County.
They were still in jail Tuesday afternoon, each on $10,012 bond.
The saga began on Tuesday afternoon when the woman pulled into the parking lot behind Helping Hands, on Romney’s West Main Street, to drop off “6 or 7” bags.
The store was locked, but Flanary and Wolford, who were sitting in the gazebo in the green space beside Taggart Hall, offered to help.
“My van’s hatch was up; my driver’s door was open,” the woman recalled.
Her keys were in the ignition and her purse was in the front seat.
“My telephone was in there. My medicine was in my pocketbook,” she said.
The pair helped her carry the bags of donations to the back of Helping Hands. As the victim got the last bag, Flanary asked how to close the hatch.
“I turned around and they were in the car,” she said. “I grabbed the door handle and he jerked it from my hand. She hit the lock button.”
She chased the car on foot out to Marsham Street to see which way it went, then ran up Main Street to Anderson’s Corner to call 911.
Hampshire 911 alerted Hardy County that the Pacifica might be headed that direction.
Hardy County sheriff’s deputies and Moorefield police began working their way north.
A resident on Trough Road called in a vehicle that had been driven into a ditch and the tags matched the stolen vehicle. The caller said the occupants were acting erratically. Moorefield police made the arrest soon after.
“It quit running,” the owner said, “It was totaled, both sides and the front. He must have ping-ponged up River Road because there wasn’t a straight piece on my van.”
Authorities recovered all her possessions except one credit card, the victim said. That was canceled.
“It makes you feel very violated when you don't have ID or a credit card,” she said. “It’s a terrible experience.” o