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W.Va. man charged in bank robbery

September 17, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A man was charged with robbing a bank Thursday after an undercover officer saw him get into a taxi in a motel parking lot a block away from the bank, according to court records.

Reginald Dwayne Barnes, 43, of 222 N. Church St., Martinsburg, was charged with one count of armed robbery in connection with a robbery Thursday morning at the BB&T Bank branch at the intersection of U.S. 11, W.Va. 9 and W.Va. 45 south of Martinsburg.

West Virginia State Police Trooper F.H. Edwards went to the bank at 9:15 a.m. after receiving a hold-up alarm call. The bank teller who was robbed gave Edwards a description of the robber, records state.

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Officers with the state police, Martinsburg Police Department and Berkeley County Sheriff's Department began searching for the robber, who fled from the bank on foot, police said.

An undercover officer with the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force saw a man whose appearance was similar to the description provided of the robber get into a taxi at the Relax Inn on Winchester Avenue, according to records filed in Magistrate Court.

The bank and the motel are a block apart.

The officer followed the cab, which stopped at the H-Mart convenience store on Winchester Avenue, where the man bought a pack of Newport cigarettes, records state.

The taxi then took the man to City Hospital in Martinsburg, where he said "he needed to see somebody," records state.

Police did not indicate who the man, later identified as Barnes, wanted to see at the hospital or why he went there.

A teller told police that the robber wrote a note, indicating he had a gun. The robber then pointed to his waistband, which contained the handle of a gun, police said.

After making separate requests for specific bill denominations, the man was given a total of $4,255, records state.

On paperwork Barnes filled out requesting a public defender, he listed no job but said he has five children to support, ranging in age from 9 to 16.

Barnes was being held in Eastern Regional Jail Thursday on $250,000 bond.

Conviction on a charge of armed robbery carries a sentence of a minimum 10 years in prison.

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