Five charged in Berkeley County home invasion

June 02, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD
  • Justin Douglas Chapman

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- Five people were arrested in a home invasion-style robbery in the Glenwood Forest subdivision that was reported early Wednesday, West Virginia State Police said.

Justin Douglas Chapman, 18,of 71 Old Barn Lane, Kearneysville, W.Va.; Bruce Scott Nicholson Jr. 19, of 700 E. Moler Ave., Apt. 1, Martinsburg; and Agustin David Lara, 22, of 166 Old Barn Lane, Kearneysville, each were charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, possession with intent to deliver marijuana and three related conspiracy offenses, Sgt. Tom Kearns said in a news release.

Heather Michelle Scurto, 22, of 1420 Echo St., Apt. D, Martinsburg, and Kristen Anne Szabo, 18, of 700 E. Moler Ave., Apt. 1, Martinsburg, were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Berkeley County Magistrate Harry L. Snow set $120,000 bonds for the men and $45,000 bonds for the women during arraignment hearings Wednesday morning.

A woman told police that intruders "zip tied" her hands and she was led into a bedroom, where a gun was pointed at her head and her life was threatened, according to the news release.


The woman's 2-year-old son was home at the time of the robbery, which was reported at 2:10 a.m., according to the news release.

Police were given a description of the attackers' vehicle -- a white Chevrolet Malibu --and State Police Trooper C.S. Maynard later found it traveling on Back Creek Valley Road, according to the news release. Chapman, Nicholson, Lara, Scurto and Szabo were in the vehicle, police said.

Maynard and a Berkeley County Sheriff's deputy conducted a traffic stop, and a search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a black .22-caliber rifle and a silver .38-caliber revolver, according to the news release.

About 250 grams of marijuana were found in the car, as well as bandannas believed to have been used by the assailants to conceal their identities, according to the news release. Plastic zip ties also were recovered by Maynard, Kearns said.

In statements to Maynard, the men indicated they went to the Glenwood Forest residence to buy marijuana, but decided to take the drugs, along with the guns and a safe, according to a complaint filed in magistrate court.

The victim said the men, who were wearing bandannas around their faces, entered the home armed and one of them put the revolver to her head, according to court records.

The woman said the men took a safe from the residence, according to court records. Scurto told police in a statement that the men also left the home with a backpack, which police later found contained marijuana, according to court records.

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