A string of robberies and burglaries throughout north central West Virginia have kept law enforcement agencies busy trying to determine who is responsible.
Clarksburg Police Chief Marshall Goff said most of those incidents are solved and an arrest is made. He said there are factors that can make an investigation more troublesome though.
"Wear a mask or something of that nature," said Clarksburg Police Chief Marshall Goff.
He said that a mask doesn't ruin the case entirely.
"It hurts the case but there are so many other things you can pick up on," Goff said.
That's what detectives like Jason Webber have an eye for.
"A lot of times hands, sometimes there are tattoos on hands. Height. An approximate weight. How they walk, how they run. Most importantly, what they are wearing. If you are able to get enough evidence for a probable cause you can get a warrant," Webber said.
He said surveillance video also allows him to determine which hand a suspect prefers and leads him in the right direction for gathering forensic evidence.
"Video, we can also see where they touch within in a business. They may touch a particular counter or item and then we would focus on that for forensic evidence," Webber said.
Goff said suspects often reveal themselves to other people.
"You'd be surprised what criminals will do or how they'll brag and someone close to them will pick up on," Goff said.
According to Webber, photo and video images are key for a case. He said the Clarksburg Police Department has solved several cases through anonymous tips.
"A jewelry store theft on Emily Drive. The subjects were not from Clarksburg or West Virginia. So it went unsolved for quite some time, until recently, York, Pa., was able to make an arrest," Webber said.
He said law enforcement agencies throughout the county, state, and nation work together to solve cases. He said fusion centers also play a big role in spreading information and gathering clues.