Police log for 3/14

March 14, 2003

Juvenile playing with fire blamed in blaze

A juvenile playing with fire has been ruled the cause of a garage fire Wednesday evening that caused approximately $1,000 damage, Maryland State Fire Marshals said Thursday.

The detached one-car garage is at 19318 Longmeadow Road, almost directly across from the Long Meadow Fire Co., which responded to the 4:49 p.m. call along with Maugansville personnel.

Lt. Jason Eckstine of Long Meadow said the fire damage was confined to the second floor level of the building.

City girl hurt after crashing car into tree

A Hagerstown girl was hurt Thursday morning when her car crashed into a tree on Crystal Falls Drive, Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Buskirk said.

Mariel Katherine Sirni, 16, of 21606 O'Toole Drive, was taken to Washington County Hospital by Smithsburg Ambulance Company shortly after the 8:40 a.m. accident.


She was admitted and was in good condition at the hospital Thursday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Buskirk said Sirni was driving a 1995 Saab when she crossed the center line near Hidden Valley Road and overcompensated as she tried to get back into her lane, hitting the tree.

Sirni was wearing her seat belt and both front seat airbags deployed, Buskirk said. Her injuries were lessened because of those safety measures, he said.

New burglary charges filed against city man

Washington County Sheriff's deputies Thursday filed charges against a Hagerstown man in connection with three residential burglaries last December.

Ernest James Myers, 45, of 26 Belview Ave., is being held in the Adams County (Pa.) Detention Center, according to Investigator Greg Alton.

The new charges in Washington County are three counts each of first- and fourth-degree burglary, two counts of felony theft and three counts of misdemeanor destruction of property, Alton said.

All three crimes occurred on Dec. 18. Approximately $31,000 in property was taken from 18843 Preston Road and 13834 Northvalley Drive. Nothing was taken from the third site at 18841 Preston Road, Alton said.

The stolen property included cash, jewelry and computers, Alton said.

Myers was arrested by Carroll Valley Police in Adams County, Pa., on Feb. 12, after police pulled him over for driving at a high rate of speed, police alleged. During the traffic stop, police found several items stolen in a break-in more than a year earlier, Chief Richard Hileman alleged.

Since then, police in Adams, Cumberland and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania, as well as in Washington County have obtained search warrants for residences, cars and storage units, Alton said.

Alton on Monday filed another warrant in Washington County District Court charging Myers with one count of burglary stemming from a Feb. 2, 2001, burglary in the 12000 block of Christy Avenue in Smithsburg.

In that case, a side door to a home was forced open and a metal lockbox containing old coins, a 1950 Esso bank and about $1,200 cash were taken, Alton said.

Man tells police he was dragged 30 feet by car

A man returning home from a downtown Hagerstown club early Thursday told Hagerstown City Police he was dragged about 30 feet by several men in a car after they took his wallet.

The victim said he was first approached by the men walking in the first block of North Prospect Street at 3:17 a.m. Later when they came back, they were in a blue or grey Chevrolet Cavalier or Oldsmobile Ciera, the victim told police.

Only one man was described by the victim to police - a white man, in his 20s, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, brown hair, wearing blue jeans and a white shirt.

The victim refused treatment for abrasions, police said.

Second W.Va. woman faces bigamy charges

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - For the second time in less than two months, a local woman has been charged with bigamy, stemming from allegations that she was married to two men at the same time.

Jacqueline R. Riffey, 28, of Virginia Avenue in Martinsburg, reportedly married Robert Eugene Baker in Winchester, Va., and then married Craig B. Riffey in Berkeley County on Sept. 19, 2001, according to police. A date of the first marriage was not given in court records.

Although Riffey denied ever marrying Baker, a court official told police that a marriage registry was filed, which is only done after a marriage ceremony is finished, records show.

Bigamy is a felony. Conviction of the charge carries a possible sentence of one to five years in prison.

Bigamy charges were filed against a Martinsburg woman last month and later dropped when a Berkeley County magistrate ruled the investigating officer did not have certified copies of the woman's marriage certificates.

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