Burglary foiled by W.Va. man

November 21, 1997


Staff Writer

KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. - A Kearneysville, W.Va., couple were wakened by a loud noise to find at least three burglars in their basement early Friday, said West Virginia State Police.

About 1:44 a.m. Friday, police were called about a burglary in progress in Kearneysville, W.Va., said West Virginia State Police Trooper C.C. Wathen, the investigating officer.

The couple woke up when they heard a noise in their basement.

The husband went to investigate and spotted at least three men standing on the stairs, according to charging documents.

He told them to leave and they said they could not get out, charging documents said.

The husband shut the basement door, locked it and called 911, charging documents said.

The people in the basement shook the door in an attempt to get upstairs without success, charging documents said.

Shepherdstown Police Officers Billy Carper and Shawn Bonifant arrived first at the scene.


Carper said he looked into the basement through an outside door and did not see anyone when he heard a rustling from behind the fence at the back property line.

Carper said he motioned to Bonifant to go down to the end of the fence while he went through an opening the burglars fled through.

He spotted one of the burglars fleeing on foot and the Shepherdstown officers gave chase, Carper said.

Wathen arrived and spotted the police officers chasing a suspect and cut off the escape route, charging documents said.

The suspect fell and the officers captured him. The other burglars had escaped.

Roger L. Washington, 40, of Kearneysville, was charged with nighttime burglary, Wathen said.

Washington declined to answer questions about who the other burglars were or what they were doing in the house, charging documents said.

Washington had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and also had bloodshot and glassy eyes, charging documents said.

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