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Va. man charged in Inwood, W.Va., bank robbery

March 23, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Virginia man charged with robbing a bank in Inwood, W.Va., on Monday was being investigated in connection with three robberies in Hagerstown, authorities said.

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Charles Franklin Adams III, 31, of Stephens City, Va., was arrested in a Martinsburg hotel room Monday afternoon.

He was charged with felony unarmed robbery. Police alleged he confessed to robbing the Blue Ridge Bank branch in Inwood on Monday morning.

He told police he also robbed two motels and a gas station in Hagerstown late Sunday and early Monday, said West Virginia State Police Trooper R.C. Copson.

A Blue Ridge Bank teller triggered a silent alarm shortly before 11 a.m. Monday after a man walked into the bank and demanded money, said Copson.

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One customer and six employees were inside the bank at the time of the robbery, said Copson. No one was injured.

The man did not show a weapon but threatened to hurt the tellers if they did not give him all the money in the bank, according to charging documents filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

The robber left the bank with about $19,000 and nearby construction workers watched a black 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse with a large spoiler fin on the back drive away from the bank.

A trooper in a patrol car heading south on Interstate 81 toward Inwood shortly after the robbery spotted a Mitsubishi on northbound I-81, but lost sight of the car.

Police were called to Foxcroft Avenue in Martinsburg after a Mitsubishi fitting the description of the getaway car was seen parked at the Hampton Inn, said Copson.

Investigators found Adams in Room 300. A bank teller was taken to the Hampton Inn and identified him as the bank robber, according to charging documents.

He confessed to the Blue Ridge Bank robbery, as well as to three robberies in Hagerstown, said Copson.

A clerk at the Super 8 Motel at 1220 Dual Highway told police a man with a handgun tucked into his waistband robbed the motel of about $400 shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday, according to Hagerstown City Police.

At about 4:30 a.m. Monday, a robber matching the same description took an undisclosed amount money from the Quality Inn at 1101 Dual Highway.

About 22 minutes later, the Sheetz Store at 301 E. Washington St. was robbed, police said.

In each case, K-9 officers responded to track the robber but lost the trail at the point were the man apparently got into a vehicle.

Adams was being held Monday night on $50,000 bond on the bank robbery charge at the Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg.

He will face the bank robbery charges in West Virginia and could be extradited to Maryland later to face any charges from the Hagerstown robberies, said Copson.

Hagerstown City Police Chief Dale Jones said his officers were working with West Virginia police to determine whether to file charges against Adams..

West Virginia State Police said they did not recover any weapons from Adams on Monday. They said a search of his car and his Martinsburg motel room turned up $19,000.

- Staff Writer Kimberly Yakowski contributed to this story.

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