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Man arrested in Martinsburg armed robbery

April 07, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Hagerstown man was arrested at his home Tuesday on charges he robbed two men Monday in an apartment across the street from the Martinsburg Police Department.

Linwood Preston Racks, 18, of 707 Forest St., was arrested by Hagerstown City Police shortly before 4 p.m. on a West Virginia fugitive warrant.

Racks was being held without bond Tuesday in the Washington County Detention Center pending extradition to West Virginia.

Racks' arrest came one day after two men in an apartment at 253 N. Queen Street in Martinsburg told police a man wearing a ski mask robbed them at gunpoint of about $500, according to court records.

The robber then fled down the steps of the apartment, firing his gun once in an outside doorway. A witness told police he believed the shot was accidental.

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Two women and a small child were in the apartment at the time of the robbery. No one was injured.

One of the men who was robbed told police he followed the man outside the building and saw him drive away.

The car was recovered a few blocks away in a parking lot on East Burke Street along with a jacket and ski mask, police said.

After police discovered the car was a rental vehicle, investigators determined the man who rented the car had let a 17-year-old Martinsburg girl use it.

The girl, who police said was in the apartment at the time of the robbery, told police she had used the car to take Racks and her sister to the laundromat.

Police said the girl and her sister left Racks in the car while they did their laundry. The girl told police she then went upstairs to the apartment and had been there less than five minutes when the robber entered.

When she left the apartment, the girl told police, Racks and the vehicle were gone.

Police said the girl later provided false information about Racks' location and was charged with being an accessory after the fact to robbery.

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