Police log for 6/20

June 20, 2002

City police seek man on probation violation

Hagerstown City Police have a Washington County Circuit Court bench warrant for Thomas Edward Collins for violation of probation on an original charge of third-degree burglary.

Collins, 24, was last known to live at 257 W. Wilson Blvd. He is described as being black, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 152 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts may call 301-790-3700 or Crime Solvers of Washington County at 301-733-4141.

Juvenile thwarts Pa. burglary attempt

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. - A juvenile thwarted the attempt of two men to rob a Greene Township home, Pennsylvania State Police said.

The juvenile discovered the two men in her residence Tuesday morning attempting to remove some items. They fled without taking anything from the East Main Street residence, police said.


One of the intruders was described as a white male, 35 years old, between 5 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with a beard and wiry hair, wearing dirty blue jeans and a jean jacket, police said.

The second intruder was described as a white male in his mid-20s wearing a black shirt, police said.

Lawn ornaments stolen from Pa. homes

SCOTLAND, Pa. - Lawn ornaments have been taken from three Greene Township residences, Pennsylvania State Police said.

All three incidents happened between 9 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday at homes along St. Andrews Drive, police said.

A green glass gazing ball was removed from a flower bed, two statues valued at $200 were taken from another home, and a religious statue worth $80 was taken from a third yard, police said.

Anyone with information on the thefts can call Trooper Randy Kane at 717-264-5161.

Remains identified as those of psychologist

FREDERICK, Md. - The human remains found Monday night in the Catoctin Mountains have been positively identified as those of Rodney Cocking, a Carroll County psychologist missing since February.

Maryland State Police spokesman Maj. Greg Shipley said Wednesday that dental records confirmed the identity. Manner of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.

A man walking his dog along a dirt road on Gambrill Mountain found the bones beside the trail and called Frederick County Sheriff's deputies at 6:15 p.m. Monday.

The discovery comes on the heels of the June 5 arrest of Randall H. Gerlach, 56, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Cocking, who lived in the 2800 block of Sams Creek Road, New Windsor, Md.

Gerlach was being held in the Carroll County Detention Center on a $1 million bond.

Police said it's likely Cocking, 59, was wounded or killed at his home on Feb. 23 and his body taken to the spot where it was found.

Deputies discover mature pot plants

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County Sheriff's Department investigators seized several mature marijuana plants from a house in Back Creek Valley Wednesday afternoon.

Along with the plants, investigators found cured marijuana, smoking devices, and some unknown pills, police said.

A press release detailing the recovery did not pinpoint the location of the house.

Back Creek Valley is in southern Berkeley County.

The drugs were found after Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith received information from an informant that the marijuana was being grown near the home, police said.

After the existence of the growing operation was confirmed, a search warrant for the property was obtained and the house was searched Wednesday, police said.

Barn fire requires 50,000 gallons of water

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Firefighters worked for five hours Tuesday night and early Wednesday to extinguish a fire inside a barn along the Charles Town Bypass, fire officials said.

The fire took a long time to extinguish because it had spread to about 200 bales of hay and a silo, said Ed Smith, chief of the Independent Fire Co.

Firefighters used about 50,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire, which started about 11 p.m. Tuesday, Smith said.

"It will be smoking for a couple days," said David Holmes, a member of the Citizens Volunteer Fire Co.

The barn is near the intersection of the bypass and Flowing Springs Road. It is owned by William Bryant, who owns several other properties in town, Smith said.

The barn was not being used, but a nearby house is occupied, Smith said.

It is not clear what started the fire, Smith said.

A deputy state fire marshal was reviewing the scene at the time of the fire, said Smith.

The barn was destroyed, resulting in about $45,000 in damages, said Smith.

Family pet dies in Frederick, Md., fire

FREDERICK, Md. - No one was injured Wednesday afternoon in a $150,000 house fire sparked by a candle left burning on a night table at 2094 E. Greenleaf Drive, said Maryland State Fire Marshal Arthur McGhee.

A family pet cat perished in the 12:15 p.m. fire at the two-story colonial home.

More than 60 firefighters responded to the blaze.

Injured woman's condition improves

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The condition of a Hedgesville, W.Va., woman who was injured in a Tuesday afternoon accident was improving, said a spokeswoman at the Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center.

Christina J. Schildt, age unknown, of Rustic Tavern Road, was flown from the scene of the 2:15 p.m. accident on the Charles Town Road by Maryland State Police medevac helicopter, said Cpl. W.M. Spessert of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Schildt remained in serious condition Wednesday but a nursing supervisor said she was improving.

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