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Man gets caught in lie to cops

Nov. 20, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A man who has had several run-ins with the law was no match for a new piece of technology that now is in the hands of local law enforcement officers.

Douglas J. Hicks, 51, of Charleston, was arrested Monday night and charged with a list of felony charges: shoplifting, third offense, burglary, parole violation and falsifying a fingerprint. Those charges are in addition to misdemeanor fleeing on foot and misdemeanor obstruction, which became the latest additions to Hicks' wrap sheet after he attempted to flee from West Virginia State Troopers Monday evening, said Sgt. Greg Losh.

The arrest came after a man walked into Walmart on U.S. 60 just after 4 p.m. Monday and grabbed an armful of electronics before running out of the store and leaving in his vehicle, Losh said. When troopers initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, the man pulled off the road and fled on foot, according to Losh. Troopers caught up with him on foot a short distance later.

While the suspect was being processed, he provided troopers with a fake name, Losh said, and as part of new procedures, troopers scanned the suspect's finger using one of the agency's fingerprint scanners, which have been in use since August.

Up to that point, Hicks only faced charges in connection to shoplifting and fleeing from police.

However, that scan not only identified Hicks, but it also revealed warrants for his arrest in Kanawha County for burglary and a parole violation. He also is a registered sex offender.

Losh said the scanner was what made all of the difference in making sure one more criminal was taken off of the streets.

"It's proven to be a useful tool for our troopers," he said. "You can't really measure what all it can do and how useful it is. It really is worth its weight in gold and then some."