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Apologetic W.Va. robber arrested

October 31, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The man accused of robbing the Citizens National Bank in Martinsburg earlier this week was taken into custody Wednesday, and is being held in the Eastern Regional Jail.

Jerry Vandevender II, 33, of Dunnview Drive in Martinsburg, was charged with one felony count of aggravated robbery in connection with the 10:45 a.m. robbery Monday.

The robber made off with around $8,700, but they have recovered a little more than half of that cash, said Lt. K.C. Bohrer of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

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Bohrer and Sgt. Russell Shackelford began watching Vandevender's home Wednesday, and spotted a Mercury Mountaineer behind it, which matched the description of the car witnesses said the robber used.

As the two waited for additional officers to arrive, Vandevender came home. He matched the description of the robber given by witnesses, and also the man police had seen on surveillance video footage, Bohrer said.

Using search warrants on Vandevender's home, his car and his father's home, police found some of the cash at Vandevender's father's home, Bohrer said. Other items, including a ski mask the robber was wearing during the robbery, have not been found, Bohrer said.

Officers seized Vandevender's SUV.

Magistrate Sandra Miller arraigned Vandevender Wednesday night using a video conference system. Vandevender is being held in Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg on $100,000 bail.

During the arraignment, Vandevender signed paperwork and answered questions. He asked if he would be able to post bond, and Miller said yes, if he uses his right to a phone call.

Miller told Vandevender that, if convicted, he faces 10 to 20 years in prison.

The robber apologized to tellers for the robbery before leaving the bank, Bohrer said.

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