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Man wanted in W.Va. bank robbery caught in Va.

November 28, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Police believe a man tried unsuccessfully Monday to rob a bank in Jefferson County but was able to rob one in Inwood, W.Va., before being apprehended in Frederick County, Va.

The man's red Ford Taurus had two flat tires as a result of a police pursuit and was losing motor oil when it was stopped on Siler Road in Frederick County, said Capt. John Heflin of the Frederick County Sheriff's Department.

"The car had smoke coming from it and we had to use fire extinguishers on it," Heflin said.

The man is not being identified because police involved in the investigation were still sorting out charges Monday.

The string of events started at about 12:30 p.m. when a man pulled into a drive-through window of United Bank at the Tuscawilla Hills subdivision off W.Va. 51 west of Charles Town, said Sgt. Dave Colbert of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

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The man showed a handgun and demanded money, but a teller refused the man's request, Colbert said.

The car left the bank and police were unable to find it after patrolling the area, Colbert said.

At 1:06 p.m., police in Berkeley County were called about a bank robbery at the Susquehanna Bank along Gerrardstown Road, formerly W.Va. 51, in Inwood, Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith said.

An individual robbed the bank at gunpoint and obtained an undisclosed amount of cash, Smith said.

Deputy Calvin Wilmer later began pursuing the suspect's car west on Apple Harvest Drive, formerly W.Va. 45, police said.

A West Virginia State Police trooper who was several miles ahead of the pursuit on Apple Harvest Drive put a "spike strip" in the road, which caused two front tires on the suspect's car to deflate when it passed, state police Sgt. T.C. Kerns said.

State police and the Berkeley County Sheriff's deputies pursued the car into Frederick County, Va., and the car stopped along Siler Road, Heflin said.

Kerns said the car stopped after its engine "seized up."

Stolen money was found in the waistband of the man's pants, Kerns said.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Department later charged the man in the Inwood bank robbery, Chief Deputy Kenneth Lemaster said in a written release.

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