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Two charged in regional crime spree

March 05, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy were charged in a recent crime spree that Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh and Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth Lemaster said Monday involved multiple burglaries in the region.

Shambaugh on Monday announced the arrest of Joshua T. Smith and a 17-year-old boy, and Lemaster scheduled a press conference for Tuesday to talk about how police were able to solve several other related burglary cases.

Smith, of 1522 Ropp Drive in Martinsburg, was charged with felony burglary and grand larceny, and the boy faces similar charges as a juvenile, Shambaugh said in a news release. 

Shambaugh said police on Thursday recovered two pillowcases “full of jewelry and jewelry boxes, a lock box bearing documents with the name of a local burglary victim, numerous electronic devices to include televisions, laptop computers, game stations, games and movies, furniture and appliance items to include a toaster oven and bar stools, human teeth containing gold, shoes, coins, old paper money and several other small items.”

The stolen items, which were recovered in a mobile home last week, are worth several thousand dollars, said Shambaugh, who noted authorities in Jefferson County, W.Va., and Frederick County, Va., also were investigating the crime spree. 

“The victims of recent burglaries in Morgan and Berkeley counties were notified, and the majority of the goods have been returned to their rightful owners,” Shambaugh said in the news release.

The crime spree was described as a “nightmare for eastern Morgan County residents, and Shambaugh credited the work and skill of all officers involved in what was a joint effort of multiple police agencies, including West Virginia State Police.

— Matthew Umstead

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