Woman charged, sought in Waffle House robbery

September 26, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Police have issued a warrant charging a Martinsburg woman with robbing a Williamsport Waffle House Saturday.

Tonya Marie Powell, 23, was charged in the warrant with armed robbery, robbery, misdemeanor theft, first-degree and second-degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a felony or violent crime and wearing or carrying a handgun on her person, said Washington County Sheriff's Investigator Greg Alton.

Alton said he believed Powell was still in the Tri-State area, and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Martinsburg Police Department Cpl. D.W. Ruppenthal said the Williamsport Waffle House robbery and a robbery at a Martinsburg Waffle House might be linked.

Upon entering the 1000 S. Foxcroft Ave. restaurant in Martinsburg about 5 a.m., a woman went straight to the cash register and showed what appeared to be a gun to get $367 from the register, Ruppenthal said.


The woman has blond hair and was described to be about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 120 pounds. She was wearing a white T-shirt, white shoes, a blue baseball cap, dark sweat pants and a dark bandanna that covered her face, police said.

Ruppenthal was told the woman got a restaurant worker to open the machine, pointed to the $20 bills and said "give me those."

The woman then left the restaurant and was last seen fleeing on foot toward Interstate 81, Ruppenthal said.

"I think it's possibly the same suspect that robbed the (Waffle House) in Williamsport," said Ruppenthal, noting the manner of both incidents appeared similar.

About 1 p.m., Alton learned that a woman with a similar physical description took an undisclosed amount of money from the Waffle House off East Potomac Street.

She wore a red baseball cap, a white T-shirt that she pulled up across her face and black sweat pants, he said.

The suspect left in a pickup truck driven by a white male, Alton said. He said Monday night that it's possible the woman was no longer using the same vehicle.

Anyone with information about the robberies may call Martinsburg Police Department at 304-263-2100 or Washington County Sheriff's Department at 301-791-3020.

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