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Pa. man charged after chase

April 01, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Philadelphia man charged with conspiring to commit grand larceny at the Kmart near Martinsburg was taken into custody Tuesday evening after a vehicle pursuit with police, according to court records.

Anthony Eugene Davis, 42, also was charged with fleeing in a vehicle, fleeing on foot and reckless driving in addition to the conspiracy charge, according to a complaint filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court by Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Deputy Sgt. T.A. Young.

Davis was arraigned Wednesday morning by Magistrate Sandra L. Miller, who set a $45,000 cash-only bond, according to court records.

Davis and another man were taken into custody after police responded to a shoplifting call at Kmart and a short vehicle pursuit ensued, according to a news release from the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Police were called to Kmart at 1287 Winchester Ave. around 5:57 p.m. Tuesday for a shoplifting call involving three men and jewelry, police said.

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Kmart officials told police that one of the men cut a wire securing a jewelry rack at the store while another pushed a shopping cart with black towels in it nearby, according to Young's complaint. The third suspect joined them in putting the jewelry rack into the cart and covering it with the towels before they began to exit the store, according to Young's complaint.

The store manager and loss prevention associate then ran to the front of the store, prompting the men to leave the cart behind and flee, according to court records. The jewelry was later determined to have a value of about $19,000, according to court records.

After leaving the store, the men got into a silver van with Pennsylvania tags and headed east on Apple Harvest Drive, police said in a news release. An officer saw the van turn onto South Queen Street.

Another officer spotted the van going north on South Queen Street and tried to pull it over, police said. After a short pursuit on several side streets in the city, the van crashed into a concrete wall behind the former Schmidt Bakery operation along Winchester Avenue and the men fled on foot, police said.

Davis, who was apprehended behind Boltz's Hardware near the former bakery, was alleged to be the driver. The passenger who was taken into custody was released, according to Young's complaint.

The sheriff's office was assisted by Martinsburg Police Department, West Virginia State Police and Martinsburg residents.

Store officials told police they were alerted about a possible shoplifting threat after similar incidents involving three men happened earlier Tuesday at Kmart stores in Carlisle and Harrisburg, Pa., and in Washington County, Md.

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