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Two charged in armed robbery

March 24, 1998

Two charged in armed robbery

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two Virginia men have been charged with two counts each of armed robbery in connection with a March 17 holdup at Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar.

Ozias Daniel Ritter, 18, of 423 National Ave., Winchester, Va., and John Jason Via, 19, of 116 N. Auburn St., Sterling, Va., were in Eastern Regional Jail Tuesday on $40,000 bond each.

According to the criminal complaints filed Tuesday by Martinsburg City Police, two men in a purple Dodge Neon took $135 from two men at gunpoint outside the restaurant on Foxcroft Avenue.

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One of the robbers had a semi-automatic pistol, and the other had a silver revolver, police said.

After the robbery, Martinsburg City Police gave law enforcement agencies in surrounding states a description of the car and suspects.

A deputy with the Frederick County, Va., Sheriff's Department spotted the Neon two days later. Deputies there confiscated a Ruger .357-caliber revolver and a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Police interviewed one of the men on March 20, who told police they drove to Martinsburg to go to the Martinsburg Mall, but it was closed.

Then they drove to the Applebee's parking lot, police said.

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