Police briefs

February 24, 2009

Man found under debris after break-in

WILLIAMSPORT -- A man was found hiding under some debris after police responded to Jewells and Jewells appliance store on North Conococheague Street Tuesday night for a breaking-and-entering call, according to a Washington County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

The sheriff's department responded to the business at about 8:07 p.m. after the owner of the store went to the business and noticed the glass in the front door was shattered, said Deputy 1st Class Carl Witmer.

Witmer said a noise could be heard in a loft area in the building and a suspect was found under some debris, Witmer said.

Police had to use a taser gun on the man because he did not obey police commands, Witmer said.

He was in police custody Tuesday night, Witmer said.

Firefighters extinguish field fire

CLEAR SPRING -- Firefighters worked to extinguish a field fire along Rocky Meadow Road off Big Pool Road Tuesday afternoon, a 911 dispatcher said.


The fire was reported about 4:20 p.m. and firefighters were on the scene until about 7 p.m., the dispatcher said.

It was not known how big the fire was or what might have caused it.

Woman found with dozens of pills

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A woman initially suspected of shoplifting at Martinsburg Mall was later stopped by police while driving with a suspended driver's license and found with at least seven types of pills, according to court records.

Melissa Ann Vanallen, 36, of 981 Caledonia Drive, Martinsburg, was arraigned Sunday by Berkeley County Magistrate Sandra L. Miller on one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (Xanax), according to court records. Miller set her bond at $50,000.

Martinsburg Police Department Patrolman M.A. Bettis said in his complaint that he advised Vanallen not to drive after he discovered her Florida license was suspended, but found no evidence she was involved in a shoplifting at the mall.

Bettis later saw the defendant driving near the mall and stopped the vehicle, which led to a search and discovery of more than 50 Xanax tablets, $985 in cash, cut straws, and multiple tablets of methadone, oxycodone, metroprolol succinate, quinapril HCI, citalopram hydrobromide and hydrochlorothazide, according to the officer's complaint.

Officer uses taser to arrest shoplifter

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Martinsburg Police Department officer investigating a report of shoplifting at a grocery store Sunday arrested another man whom he alleged attempted to steal from the business while the police officer was there, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Arthur Renner, 43, of 23 Douglas Grove Road, Martinsburg, was arraigned Monday by Magistrate W. Randy Smith on one felony count of shoplifting third offense, according to court records.

Martinsburg Police Department Patrolman Adam Albaugh said he was struck in the face by the defendant and then deployed his taser in an attempt to handcuff him outside Martin's at 901 Foxcroft Ave.

Renner was found with nine New York strip steaks and two boneless hams, which were hidden under his shirt, according to the complaint.

Renner was previously convicted of shoplifting three times, twice in Martinsburg in 2006 and last month in Frederick County, Va., according to Albaugh's complaint.

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