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Robbery suspect faces federal charges

November 20, 1997

Robbery suspect faces federal charges

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherdstown Police Chief Cecil Arnold said he's closing the book on an April 21 bank robbery in Shepherdstown.

The man suspected of the robbery is not charged with the holdup, but was named in federal charging documents in other cases as having committed the Jefferson Security Bank robbery, said Bill Edwards, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jerry D. Roe was charged on Oct. 20 with three counts of bank robbery, 13 counts of commercial robbery and one count of using a handgun in the commission of a felony crime, Edwards said Wednesday.

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Several other holdups about which Roe gave statements to police were included in the criminal information filed with the charges, though he was not charged with them as part of a plea agreement, Edwards said.

Arnold said he will meet with Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Thompson to see if he wants to bring Roe back to face a state charge of bank robbery.

Roe, of Oceanside, Calif., is suspected of having committed a string of bank robberies and pizza shop holdups across the United States, from Virginia to New Mexico, Edwards said.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Richard Reaver apprehended him on May 31 at an Ohio rest stop, Edwards said.

Reaver had spotted an improper license tag on Roe's car and when he went to question him about it, saw a handgun in the car, Arnold said.

"He is an experienced officer and it was just good police work on his part," Arnold said.

The Ohio trooper ran information through the national crime computer and, working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, linked Roe to the April 21 robbery, Arnold said.

"The FBI did a phenomenal job," Arnold said.

Edwards said he did not know when Roe would has his next court appearance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Seccor, the prosecutor in the case in Toledo, Ohio, could not be reached Wednesday.

In the Jefferson Security Bank holdup in Shepherdstown, the robber went to each teller and demanded bills be placed in his black backpack.

Jefferson County police set up roadblocks around Shepherdstown and searched from the air in a helicopter, but were unable to find the robber.

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