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Two Chesapeake men charged in local burglaries

"This is something I never thought I'd see again," David Randolph said Friday as he picked up his father's rifle at the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office.

Earlier this year, the gun was stolen from his eastern end home, along with some knives his father had given him.

Last week,

Lawrence County Sheriff's deputies arrested two men in connection with the break-in at Randolph's house and two other residences in eastern Lawrence County.

On Friday, sheriff's detective Aaron Bollinger returned the stolen items to the rightful owners.

"I feel fortunate," Randolph said. "These are family heirlooms. It's not the monetary value. These things can't be replaced. Sometimes it's not the things with the most value that mean the most to you."

Raymond Meredith, 32, of 102 Township Road 1336, Chesapeake,

faces three counts of breaking and entering and one count of burglary.

He was held in the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville, W.Va., in connection with charges against him there.

Carl Carpenter Jr., 31, whose last known address was 515 County Road 3, Chesapeake, was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of

burglary and one count of breaking and entering.

The stolen items were recovered from three separate locations in Cabell and Wayne counties in West Virginia, including an alleged crack house in Huntington, W.Va., that was raided by police a week ago. Many of the stolen items were firearms.

"Guns seem to be one of the hottest items," Bollinger said. "They are easy to get rid of."

"I'm totally impressed," Gary Brandenburg, of Chesapeake, said as four of five guns stolen from his residence were returned to him.

"I couldn't replace these guns. My dad gave four of them to me. One of them my wife got me for Christmas. This feels great," he said.

Brandenburg and Randolph praised Bollinger and others at the sheriff's office for their diligence in solving these cases and recovering the stolen property.

"Bollinger has done a tremendous job, often working with just the slightest information," Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said. "And what's really been satisfying is that we have recovered some of the property and returned to the owners. In some cases, unfortunately, we can't track down the property. We may not get a lead on it. But this time we've been able to return some property."

Bollinger encouraged area residents to keep records of their property so that if it is stolen, authorities have this information to help locate it.

"Some of the best help we can get is for people to record the serial numbers of their valuables and put them in a safe place," he said. "This would be extremely helpful to us."