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W.Va. man is charged in 2003 bank robbery

August 12, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

INWOOD, W.VA. - A Martinsburg, W.Va., man has been charged with bank robbery in a case involving a man who donned a wig and took a test-driven car to the bank and back more than a year ago, police said.

James Fairfax Wilson III, 35, of 134 Boarman Place, was charged Tuesday night with the felony count after being arrested by officers with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

The robbery happened on May 6, 2003, at the Jefferson Security Bank branch in Inwood. A teller handed over $6,707, police said.

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Police said a stocky man wearing a pink ball cap, dark sunglasses and a long black wig handed a bank teller a day planner or similar-type of notebook. A written note demanded bills in denominations of $100, $50 and $20. The robber opened his jacket and showed the teller a handgun, police said.

The robber placed the cash in the notebook and left in a purple Ford Escort, police said.

Officers spotted a similar car at an auto dealership less than a mile from the bank. Employees there cooperated with police and said a stocky man had taken the Escort for a test drive and returned it. After the test drive, the man left with a woman in a separate car, a red Ford Tempo, police said.

In the car dealership's bathroom, police found a "fairly large quantity" of hair wrapped in a coffee filter. Police said they believe the robber shaved his head or face just before the robbery.

A couple of months before the robbery the red Ford Tempo was sold to a woman near the dealership, police said. Police were given the woman's name and address and an employee said he knew the man as "Jamie."

Police were then able to track down Wilson, court records state.

Wilson was being held Wednesday night in Eastern Regional Jail on $50,000 bail, a spokesman there said.

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