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Former police officers help in arrest of suspect

October 12, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W. Va. - Two retired police officers caught a man who moments earlier had allegedly snatched a woman's purse in downtown Martinsburg on Friday afternoon, police said.

Michael Allen Karche, 49, of 67 Corrina Drive in Martinsburg, was charged with one felony count of robbery. He is free on $50,000 bail.

Martinsburg Police Department Sgt. Shannon Armel and Cpl. Terry Stanley are investigating the purse-snatching, which happened around 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of King and Queen streets.

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Armel praised the quick actions of Steve Harris, a retired Prince George's County police officer.

Harris was in his pickup when he heard La Rue Frye, 64, of Martinsburg, screaming that her purse had just been stolen. Harris, after spotting a man running away, used his truck to block part of East King Street and then grabbed Karche, Armel said.

Wayne Domenico, a retired Martinsburg Police Department officer who works as a county bailiff, ran over and helped Harris. The two held Karche against the back of a green Subaru parked in the BB&T bank parking lot until police arrived.

The Subaru belongs to Karche's mother, police said.

"We're lucky we got him. Once again, good citizen help pays off," Armel said.

Frye told police that after she left BB&T bank, she saw a man watching her. She was waiting to walk across Queen Street toward the courthouse when someone walked up behind her and grabbed her purse, police said. She was not hurt.

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