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Burglaries leave 2 Roanoke men owing Norfolk Southern $30,000 in restitution

Burglaries leave 2 Roanoke men owing Norfolk Southern $30,000 in restitution


A 2018 burglary spree at Norfolk Southern facilities in Roanoke escalated to a series of vehicle thefts — a modified pickup truck, an ATV and a child’s bicycle — even as the scheme itself disintegrated.

The two Roanoke men charged in the case, Ray Travis Asbury, 33, and Michael Paul Voorhees, 39, have both pleaded guilty to breaking and entering and larceny.

At separate hearings for both men, Roanoke Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Wolthuis walked through the case by summarizing the evidence against them.

Late on Dec. 30, 2018, they broke into four Norfolk Southern buildings in the 1000 block of Hollins Avenue and made off with computer monitors, power tools, a generator and a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, a dual-mode vehicle outfitted to operate both conventionally and on railroad tracks, Wolthuis said.

He said Voorhees acknowledged to police that he drove the Silverado to his Mountain Avenue home — causing damage to the vehicle as well as parts of the greenway in the process — but Asbury left with the pickup.

Some of the stolen items were found near Voorhees’ home, Wolthuis said. When interviewed by investigators, Voorhees admitted to the break-ins.

Three days after Voorhees’ arrest, police located the truck abandoned in a field, stuck just off Dogwood Acres Road, northwest of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

Wolthuis said an ATV from a nearby motorsports dealership had been taken and used to try to free the Silverado, without success. Asbury later fled the area on a stolen bicycle, which Wolthuis described in court as having streamers on its handlebars.

After his arrest, Asbury told investigators he had been taking Klonopin and alcohol that night and could not recall much of what happened.

Last month, he received a 10-year term, suspended after 2½ years are served.

Voorhees was sentenced Tuesday and also got 10 years, but his term will be suspended after one year and three months. He is not required to report to jail until next month.

The men are jointly obligated to pay $29,947 in restitution to Norfolk Southern.

As a result of their pleas, both men saw three other burglary charges dropped.

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