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Police log for 9/12

September 12, 2002

Firefighters respond to large outdoor burn



RINGGOLD - A large outdoor burn attracted attention Wednesday afternoon - not only because Washington County has a burn ban in effect but because there were reportedly some improper items being burned.

"It was like a big pile of rubbish being burned but there were some tires and shingles in there," said Lt. Jason Eckstine of the Long Meadow Fire Co.

Firefighters from the Leitersburg Fire Co. got the call at 3:05 p.m. for an outside fire in their first-due area at 22702 Ringgold Pike, said dispatchers at Washington County Fire and Rescue Communications.

They were assisted on the call by Long Meadow, Smithsburg and Waynesboro, Pa., firefighters in trying to extinguish the blaze.

Maryland Forestry Service personnel also responded to the scene but were unavailable for comment Wednesday night.

Eckstine said the fire wasn't out of control but was of concern because of the burn ban in Washington County due to extra dry conditions.

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The last firefighters left the scene just before 9 p.m.




Ammonia leak in city capped by firefighters



Hagerstown Fire Co. personnel responded to 300 W. Franklin St. Wednesday at 4:54 p.m. for reports of ammonia leaking from the building there that used to house Baer Foods.

Now Expedited Services, the business had a malfunctioning piece of equipment which was giving off ammonia, according to Battalion Chief Kyd Dieterich.

The leak was capped quickly, Dieterich said.




Man dies from fall in Hagerstown stairwell



Head injuries from a fall proved fatal for a Hagerstown man found at the bottom of a stairwell in the North Potomac Street parking deck Monday around 9 a.m., Hagerstown City Police said.

William Dean Chambers, 67, no fixed address, died Tuesday night at Washington County Hospital.

Chambers' body was taken Wednesday to the Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore for an autopsy, said Lt. Rick Johnson.

Two detectives were present for the autopsy, Johnson said. Preliminary findings indicate Chambers sustained an accidental fall resulting in a serious head injury.

No foul play is suspected at this time, Johnson said.

Johnson said Chambers was last seen about 30 minutes earlier on Monday morning by Officer Tim Rossiter.




Grandfather clock missing from home



BOONSBORO - A 61/2-foot grandfather clock valued at $3,000 has been reported missing from a home in the 100 block of Potomac Street, said Deputy Jeff Hewett of the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

The clock was taken between Sept. 3 and 7 from the first floor of the home, Hewett said. There was no evidence of forced entry.

Calls can be made to Hewett at 301-432-6838 or to Crime Solvers of Washington County at 301-733-4141.




Silage fire keeps firefighters busy



BOONSBORO - Firefighters spent just over an hour dousing a fire in a pile of silage along Toms Road Wednesday afternoon, a dispatcher for Washington County Fire and Rescue Communications said.




Man charged for eating in store, then leaving



CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man was charged with retail theft after he allegedly ate two Slim Jim's at a local store and attempted to leave without paying, Chambersburg Police said.

The man was caught eating the meat snacks and trying to leave CVS at 125 W. Washington St., without paying, police said.

Robert Malinich, 19, of Chambersburg, was charged with one count of retail theft and was released, police said.




Man sought for failing to appear in court



Hagerstown City Police were on the lookout for Ronald Lee Merchant, 43, who they say failed to appear in court on Sept. 3.

Police said there are three warrants out for Merchant's arrest: A June 18 District Court warrant charging him with failure to appear in court on charges of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs; a July 27 District Court warrant charging him with fourth-degree burglary; and a Sept. 3 Circuit Court warrant charging him with failure to appear for trial on original charges of robbery, second-degree assault and theft.

Merchant is a white male, 6 six feet tall, weighing 190 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, police said.

His last known addresses are 212 Summit Ave., Apt. #2 and 440 W. Franklin St., police said.

People with information can call 301-790-3700 ext. 234 or Crime Solvers at 301-733-4141.




Deputies investigating damage to vehicles



The Washington County Sheriff's Department was investigating the following incidents reported Tuesday, Sgt. Mark Faith said:

  • A 1995 Jeep Wrangler at Garden State Tanning at Crayton Boulevard was keyed, causing an estimated $1,000 damage. The crime was reported Tuesday.

  • The window was broken out of a Nissan Sentra at 21804 Auburn Drive. The crime was reported at 7:30 a.m. A brown wallet valued at $20 was stolen. A Samsung cell phone valued at $150 was stolen. It was estimated the broken window will cost $150 to replace.

  • An estimated $1,700 in golf equipment was stolen from a 1996 Jeep at 21801 Auburn Avenue. The crime was reported at 6:30 p.m.

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