Juvenile escapees caught

October 02, 1997



Staff Writers

Hagerstown City Police Wednesday captured two youths who escaped two weeks ago from the Eastern Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., authorities said.

Officer Shane Blankenship said he discovered the boys at a public housing complex during a theft investigation. The boys, ages 16 and 17, were being held Wednesday night at the Washington County Juvenile Detention Center pending extradition to West Virginia.

The youths were nabbed at about 8:40 p.m. at 205 Ross St., Blankenship said.

"Somebody had tipped us off in the residence," he said.

The pair immediately aroused the officers' suspicions during questioning, Blankenship said.

"They gave us many different names. They were really nervous. They were shaking and they couldn't keep their names and dates of birth straight," he said.


The youths scaled a fence topped with barbed wire that surrounds the facility's exercise yard on the afternoon of Sept. 16.

The 17-year-old Martinsburg youth had been arrested the previous week in connection with a theft of a vehicle from Wright Motors in Martinsburg. Police that night had chased that vehicle and another stolen from Wright Motors into Morgan County.

Both vehicles wrecked and the suspects initially escaped on foot. The juvenile was arrested early the next morning hiding behind the Hedgesville 7-Eleven.

The other escapee is from Romney, W.Va., according to authorities.

Last week at the detention center, West Virginia Division of Corrections workers installed concertina wire on top of the exercise yard fence to prevent further escapes. A row of the wire also was placed around the outside of the fence.

Center director Tom Moreland said the increased security was planned prior to the escape.

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