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Reward offered in widow robbery case

April 15, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Someone with information on a burglary at a Washington County home while the resident was at her late husband's viewing could pocket more than $2,000 if he or she helps authorities in the case, the Washington County Crime Solvers said.

More than half of the reward money is coming directly from people in the community.

Crime Solvers said it is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the person who burglarized the Hewitt residence in the 800 block of Kaetzel Road near Knoxville on March 22. Area residents have pitched in to raise an additional $1,400 to help encourage tips that could crack the case, according to Crime Solvers.

The incident happened while Chris Harbaugh Hewitt was at a Frederick, Md., viewing for her husband of 31 years, Joseph William Hewitt, investigators said.

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Investigators have said they believe entry was through a basement window between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Approximately $1,000 in cash, four rifles valued at about $2,000, two jewelry boxes containing about $800 worth of items and two model trucks, valued at $100, were among the items taken from the home. Another of the items Hewitt said was missing was her first engagement ring, given to her by her recently deceased husband.

Investigators have said they believe the burglary likely was timed to coincide with the service.

Chris Hewitt said Wednesday that part of the community-generated reward money is coming from a collection at a convenience store, Himes' Store, in the Weaverton area.

"They did it because they're friends of the family and because of the circumstances around what happened. Everyone was just up in arms about it," she said.

Chris Hewitt said she was glad local residents are willing to look out for each other in ways such as the collection.

"I definitely do appreciate the gesture," she said.

Anyone with information may call the Crime Solvers tip line at 301-733-4141.

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