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Man charged in W.Va. robbery

August 27, 2005

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.

A man taken into custody and charged with a Thursday afternoon robbery in Morgan County matches the description of a suspect in two previous robberies the same day in Berkeley County, as well as several others throughout the four-state region in recent weeks, West Virginia State Police said.

Jeffrey Melvin, 41, of 540 S. Church St., Apt. 5, Shepherdstown, W.Va., was being held on $200,000 bond at Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg, police said and jail officials confirmed Friday night.

Melvin's charges include robbery, wanton endangerment, malicious assault, felon in possession of a firearm, petty larceny and destruction of property in connection with the Thursday afternoon robbery of the Carriage House store on W.Va. 9 in Morgan County, police said.

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He was arraigned Friday before a Morgan County magistrate.

Police said shortly after the 3 p.m. Carriage House robbery, witnesses were able to get a description of a black, two-toned Ford Escape, as well as a West Virginia registration number.

Spotting the vehicle, Trooper Z.L. Nine stopped the car on W.Va. 9 heading east into Berkeley County. A search of the car driven by Melvin turned up a concealed loaded firearm, which had been reported stolen from the Morgan County robbery, police said.

A large quantity of cash in small bills was found on Melvin, police said.

The two Berkeley County robberies Thursday were at ROCS in Falling Waters, W.Va., and Danielle's Florist in Inwood, W.Va., police said. In each case, the robber was described as a heavy-set black man with specific clothing item descriptions.

Similar robberies also have occurred at the Exxon AC&T on Aug. 17 and at Five Spot No. 3 on Aug. 23, police said.

All of the robberies have been identified as being a continuing pattern believed to be committed by the same people in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, police said.

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