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3 charged in Taco Bell theft

February 11, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

3 charged in Taco Bell theft

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Three Taco Bell employees were charged Wednesday with grand larceny after $3,000 disappeared from the fast-food restaurant's safe Sunday, according to West Virginia State Police.

Paul E. Ritenour Jr., 26, of Hedgesville, W.Va., was being held on $10,000 bond. Jonathan S. Schubert, 18, of Bakerton, W.Va., and Bradley E. Fritts, 19, of Summit Point, W.Va., each were being held on $5,000 bond, said Sgt. S.E. Paugh.

The three were charged with grand larceny and destruction of property, according to court records. Ritenour and Fritts also were charged with giving a false statement to a police officer and obstructing a police officer, according to court records.

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Ritenour and Fritts told police they were in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., at the time of the burglary, but later gave a different account, according to charging documents.

The theft occurred about 1:20 a.m. Sunday at Taco Bell, north of Charles Town off U.S. 340, state police said.

The restaurant windows were smashed to make it look as if the restaurant had been broken into, according to court records.

Crowbars were used on the safe to make it appear as if it had been forced open, but it actually had been entered with a manager's key, according to court records.

After the money was stolen, the thieves met and divided up the cash, court records show.

Two money bags that belonged to the restaurant were burned in an attempt to hide the evidence, but the remnants were found in a convenience store dumpster in Shepherdstown, W.Va., according to court records.

Police recovered about $2,879 of the missing $3,000 from several different locations where it had been hidden, according to police and court records.

The case was investigated by Trooper G.S. Petsko.

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