Bizarre case of stolen dentures leads to two arrests

MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An 89-year-old woman is the victim of a crime she can't quite wrap her mind around.

"Why would anybody want someone else's teeth?" Janice Spence asked.

Spence says her next door neighbor in the Wharncliffe area of Mingo County, West Virginia came over and asked to use the bathroom. The neighbor, Anna Justice, reportedly stayed in the bathroom half an hour, and Spence says she was acting a little off when she came out.

"She sat on the bar stool, and I noticed she almost fell off," Spence recalled.

Spence says she called for Justice's boyfriend, Jimmy Teems, to come over to try to help.

Then Spence noticed her dentures were missing.

After confronting her neighbor and accusing her of stealing the dentures, Spence says it got even more bizarre.

"She started cussing me and calling me names," she said.

According to court documents, state police searched the neighbors' house and found Spence's dentures in their cabinet.

Investigators say they also found the elderly woman's toothbrush, fingernail clippers and deodorant.

They also say they found drugs and drug paraphernalia.

"She told me a couple weeks ago when she was over here she was going to have her teeth pulled," Spence said.

Spence is speculating maybe her neighbor's own dental problems were a possible motive.

"Her teeth look like round toothpicks," Spence said. "Only they're about the color of my (brown) door here."

Spence says although the stolen dentures were recovered by police, they had been broken and left unusable.

"I can't hardly bite down on anything," she said. "I have to eat soft food now."

Both her neighbors were taken to jail. She's hoping the courts force them to pay to replace her damaged dentures.

The couple is facing charges of petit larceny, conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance, according to criminal complaints.



 
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