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Man charged with theft of donation jar

December 30, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

GERRARDSTOWN, W.VA. - A Gerrardstown man was charged Thursday in connection with the theft of a jar containing donations made in memory of a 14-year-old girl murdered in her home, according to court records.

Jeffrey Bernard Anderson, 44, of 361 Elderberry Lane, was charged with breaking and entering and conspiracy to commit breaking and entering.

West Virginia State Police Trooper J.D. Burkhart responded to the Corner Grocery in Gerrardstown on Nov. 3 after the store owner, Eric Weber, said someone stole a jar that had contained around $75.

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The money was being collected in memory of Miana Stewart, 14, who was killed inside of her Gerrardstown home Oct. 13. The donations were to be given to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department's K-9 unit because Miana Stewart loved dogs and because a K-9 helped to capture the man charged with her murder.

Weber said the jar was kept next to the store's cash register and that nothing else appeared to have been taken, records state.

A rock was found on the floor of the store, having been thrown through a window. Also, bars on the outside of a window had been cut. The store had an alarm system but it was not activated at the time, records state.

While speaking to police a couple of days after the burglary about an unrelated matter, Anderson discussed the jar that had been stolen, records state.

He said that he and another man drove to the store on Nov. 3 at about 3:30 a.m. Anderson said he drove his red Mazda truck and parked behind the store while the other man walked to the store, records state.

Anderson said that a short time later the other man returned, carrying a large glass jar containing cash. After counting the money, the jar was thrown out of one of the truck's windows, records state.

Anderson is being held in Eastern Regional Jail on $40,000 bail.

No information was available Thursday on the other man Anderson alleges was involved in the theft.

Conviction on a charge of breaking and entering carries a sentence of one to 10 years in prison, and conviction on a charge of conspiracy to commit breaking and entering carries a sentence of one to five years in prison.

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