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Thief steals cash from W.Va. police department

January 28, 1997

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherdstown Police Chief Cecil Arnold said a rear door has been reinforced and he is looking into installing a burglar alarm after a thief broke into the police department and the mayor's office earlier this month.

About 8 a.m. on Jan. 9, Arnold arrived at the office and discovered the rear door had been pried open by a crowbar or similar type of tool

"It kind of makes your day start off on the wrong foot," Arnold said.

Inside, he discovered two desks had been broken into at the police department side of Town Hall. About $2,000 in cash had been in one of the desks from fines from Police Court and from the sale of parking permits.

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Desks in the front office of town hall and the mayor's office also were searched by the thief. The drawers were found open.

The thief did not enter the safe containing crime evidence and it did not appear to have been tampered with, Arnold said.

There also were no crime files or police reports taken, he said. The file cabinets did not appear to have been touched.

Where the thief did apparently touch, the police officers took fingerprints and sent them to a crime lab for analysis, he said.

Arnold said the theft occurred sometime between 3:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Jan. 9. The chief declined to comment if there was an officer on duty at the time of the break-in. The department only has three officers, including the chief, and the agency is unable to provide around the clock coverage of the town.

He said there are no suspects at this time.

Arnold said the police department also had been broken into about 1987.

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