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Gunman robs store manager

March 28, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

RANSON, W.Va. - An armed man stole about $8,000 in cash, checks and food stamps from a manager of a local Barnhart's Supermarket after approaching the manager in the store's parking lot Sunday night, police said.

The manager had closed the Barnhart's store in Ranson Square along W.Va. 9 and was walking across the parking lot about 7 p.m. when he was approached by the robber, said Ranson Police Chief William Roper.

The robber pulled out a small pistol and demanded money, Roper said.

The man stole about $4,000 in cash and about $4,000 worth of food stamps and checks, Roper said.

He ran from the parking lot and through a breezeway between the grocery store and a CVS Pharmacy, Roper said. He was last seen heading toward the Orchard Hills subdivision, he said.

West Virginia State Police took a dog to the scene in an attempt to track the scent of the robber, but the effort was unsuccessful, said State Police Sgt. S.E. Paugh.

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It was the latest in a string of bank and business robberies over the last four months. Descriptions of the robbers have varied.

A One Valley Bank branch in Hedgesville was robbed of $2,000 in January and another branch on U.S. 340 north of Charles Town was robbed last November. The culprits in those robberies were described as white, Roper said.

Sunday's robber was described as black and about 6 feet tall, he said.

On March 19, a man with a handgun forced his way into the McDonald's restaurant on North Queen Street in Martinsburg as three employees working the late shift were leaving, said Martinsburg Police.

The gunman ordered the three employees to stay in a walk-in freezer while he let three accomplices inside, including one man who had a sawed-off shotgun.

A female employee was forced to open a safe, and cash was stolen, police said.

The initial gunman was described as a black man in his early or mid-20s, about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with a medium build.

Anyone with information on the Barnhart's robbery can call the Ranson Police Department's tip hotline at 1-304-728-COPS.

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