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Man wanted on kidnapping charges caught in Kentucky

February 07, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - In a Kentucky hotel Wednesday night, authorities found the man who is charged in a warrant with kidnapping an 83-year-old Martinsburg woman in December and trying to force her to withdraw money from her bank account.

U.S. Marshals took Belcher Grady, 19, into custody around 11 p.m. after finding him at a hotel in Florence, Ky., according to Detective Sgt. George Swartwood of the Martinsburg Police Department.

Outstanding arrest warrants in Berkeley County charge Grady with kidnapping, aggravated robbery, burglary, assault, giving false information to police, obtaining money by false pretenses, petit larceny and writing worthless checks.

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Because of the pending warrants, an FBI agent in Martinsburg obtained an additional warrant charging Grady with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

After tracking Grady and a man with him through several states, luck and cooperation led police to the Kentucky hotel, said Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely.

Grady waived extradition to West Virginia, but may have to stay in Kentucky because charges against him were filed there, Games-Neely said. She said she did not know the exact nature of the charges.

Many of the active warrants were filed in December, when police released Grady's photograph and asked for information about his whereabouts.

On Dec. 13, a man forced his way into the 83-year-old woman's house, stole $500 and made her drive to a bank on Queen Street, according to Swartwood.

The man left the bank before getting additional money, Swartwood said.

The warrants charging Grady with obtaining money by false pretenses are related to driveway paving and sealing, police said.

Lt. K.C. Bohrer alleged that Grady would use the name of a legitimate contractor and say he was the contractor's son to gain the trust of unsuspecting people.

Grady then paved or sealed people's driveways but charged more than the original quote, Bohrer alleged. The work was sometimes shoddy, with materials used for the paving or sealing often washing away after a rainfall, Bohrer alleged.

In a press release issued Thursday, Swartwood said Grady's arrest was possible because of the cooperation and dedication of West Virginia State Police Troopers Dean Olack and Nathan Harmon; FBI Special Agent Tom Flosnik; Martinsburg Police Department officers; Games-Neely; U.S. Attorney Tom Mucklow and U.S. Marshals Jeff Stine, Michael Ulrich, Ron Stump and John Noel.

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