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Martinsburg man charged in home invasion robbery

April 10, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A 26-year-old Martinsburg man was charged Saturday with forcing his way into a North Queen Street home and taking $700.

It was the fifth armed robbery in Berkeley and Jefferson counties in the last three weeks.

Shawn E. Johnson, who police say is living at 326 E. Burke St., Apartment 1, is charged with assault, aggravated robbery and possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, according to Cpl. B.L. Yost of the Martinsburg Police Department.

At about 7 p.m., a man entered the house in the 700 block of North Queen Street wearing a white coat and a mask over his face, police said. Holding a gun, he encountered a 12-year-old girl, then a 17-year-old girl, before taking the money and leaving, Yost said.

He was seen leaving the area in a blue Buick with three other men, according to Yost.

About four hours later, Officer Steve Urbanski saw a man matching the description of the robber standing on the 200 block of East Martin Street, police said.

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The man ignored Urbanski's demand to stop and ran into a house, police said.

Other officers then surrounded the house and Johnson was found hiding in the basement with most of the missing money, police alleged.

Yost alleged another man at that East Martin Street house told police he had been with Johnson earlier, when they went to Johnson's house on East Burke Street. While they were there, Johnson dropped off a 9 mm handgun - which police say was used in the robbery - and put marijuana in the freezer, Yost alleged.

Johnson was being held Sunday night in the Eastern Regional Jail on $46,881 bond.

The other three men in the vehicle had not been found late Sunday, but Yost said they are not believed to be connected to the robbery.

Police also charged Johnson on two outstanding domestic battery warrants. Yost said police are reviewing court records from other states.

Last Monday night, Jason Lamont Bryant, 22, of 701 King St., Martinsburg, turned himself in to police, who were seeking him and his brother, Karon Troy Bryant, in connection with a March 29 armed robbery on English Street.

Karon Bryant has not been found.

On March 19, two men with guns and two unarmed men forced three employees at the McDonald's on North Queen Street in Martinsburg into a freezer and stole cash from a safe, according to city police.

On March 26, a man with a small pistol stole $8,000 in cash, checks and food stamps from the manager of the Barnhart's Supermarket in Ranson, W.Va. The robber accosted the manager in the parking lot after the store was closed, police said.

The 7-Eleven on Berkeley Station Road in Martinsburg was robbed on March 31 by a man wearing a hood over his face and brandishing a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle, according to West Virginia State Police.

The robberies at those three stores have not been solved, according to police.

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