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Police say carjacking, bank robbery related

May 19, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Maryland man had his car taken from him by a knife-wielding assailant at the intersection of King Street and Porter Avenue Monday afternoon and the car was used 30 minutes later in a robbery at a Centra Bank in Inwood, W.Va., police said Monday night.

Police are asking for the public's help in finding the robber, who was last seen traveling north on U.S. 11 after the bank robbery in the stolen gray Ford Escort, police said.

At 4:19 p.m., a 65-year-old Maryland man was inside his Escort station wagon at King Street and Porter Avenue when a man approached the car and asked the driver what time it was, said Lt. Glenn Macher Jr. of the Martinsburg Police Department.

The suspect pulled the driver out of the car at knifepoint and the suspect drove away in the car, heading south on Porter Avenue toward John Street, Macher said. The car had a Maryland registration with the first three letters of MVE, Macher said.


Berkeley County 911 dispatchers received calls about the car, which had a bike rack on top, entering southbound Interstate 81 at the Winchester Avenue exit, Macher said.

The same car showed up at the Centra Bank at the intersection of U.S. 11 and W.Va. 51 in Inwood where a man described as a white male with a small stature and being about 5 feet, 10 inches tall tried to enter the front bank entrance, said Cpl. Chris McCulley of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

After realizing the front entrance was locked, the suspect got back into the car and drove to a drive-up window, McCulley said.

The man put a note in a drawer that said that he wanted money "or will detonate," McCulley said.

The man received an undisclosed amount of money from the teller and drove away, McCulley said.

The man was further described as having short light hair, being clean-shaven and having "nasty teeth," McCulley said. He was wearing black gloves with the fingertips cut off, bent-up aviation sun glasses and a camouflage baseball hat, McCulley said.

The Martinsburg Police Department and the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department are jointly investigating the crimes and anyone with information can call city police at 304-264-2100 or the sheriff's department at 304-267-7000.

Anonymous information can also be given to Berkeley County Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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