Police solve 25 burglaries in Eastern Panhandle, neighboring states

About $70,000 in stolen items have been recovered

March 06, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — About 25 burglaries reported in the Eastern Panhandle and neighboring Virginia and Maryland have been solved since Jan. 1, leading to the arrest of 10 people, police said Tuesday.

About $70,000 in stolen items have been recovered, Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth Lemaster Jr. and Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh said at a news conference.

“I don’t think we’re done yet,” Lemaster said. “I think they’re are a lot more cases to be closed out.”
Most of the burglaries were reported since December, but there were four older cases dating to 2005, police said.

Lemaster and Shambaugh could not say how many burglaries reported since December haven’t been solved, but cited a cooperative effort among law-enforcement agencies in the Eastern Panhandle, Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland, and Frederick, Clarke and Shenandoah counties in Virginia for the arrests that have been made.


Morgan Edward Earley, one of the defendants charged in the crime spree, was arraigned Tuesday on counts of daytime burglary, grand larceny, attempted daytime burglary and two counts of conspiracy, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Earley, of 20 Effie Lane in Martinsburg, also was arraigned on two counts of counterfeiting and one count of conspiracy in unrelated cases, according to court records.

In the burglary-related cases, Earley is accused of attempted burglary on Feb. 15 in the 4000 block of Allensville Road in Hedgesville, W.Va., and grand larceny on Feb. 17 in the 800 block of Falling Waters Drive in Falling Waters, W.Va., according to court documents.

In the counterfeiting cases, Earley is accused of passing counterfeit $20 bills last week at Walmart in Martinsburg and at Sheetz on West King Street in Martinsburg, according to court documents.

In a news release Tuesday, police released the following outcomes of other cases:

Jan. 1 — Police responded to a reported disturbance at Harranda Mobile Home Park in Inwood, W.Va., leading to the recovery of about $12,000 in stolen property.
Charles Shirley Jr. was charged with possession of stolen property and later charged with burglary in connection with three separate burglaries investigated by police in Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

Jan. 12 — The Frederick County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office notified Berkeley County of an arrest that led to the recovery of about $45,000 in stolen property.
Another $30,000 in stolen property is linked to multiple cases investigated by police in Frederick County, Va., Berkeley and Jefferson counties, and Pennsylvania.

Jan. 21 — The arrest of Jimmy L. Bass in connection with dealing heroin leads to charges being filed against Bass in a burglary involving the theft of about $5,000 in property.
The burglary case was being investigated by West Virginia State Police.

Jan. 17 — A reported burglary in progress in the Potomac Heights subdivision in Falling Waters led to Earley’s arrest and the recovery of about $3,000 in stolen property.
Police allege Earley is connected with the theft of an additional $8,000 in property.

Jan. 24 — The Frederick County (Md.) Sheriff’s Office’s attempt to locate stolen property from a burglary there leads to the recovery of about $2,000 in stolen property, some of which is found in Eastwood Mobile Home Park in Inwood by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.
Daniel Alan Rogers and Matthew Todd Crim were charged in the Maryland case.

March 1 — Police responded to a reported burglary in progress on Consiler Lane off Back Creek Valley Road, which led to the recovery of two pillow cases full of jewelry, jewelry boxes, a lock box with documents bearing the name of a burglary victim, many electronic devices, furniture, appliances and a set of teeth containing gold.

The items recovered were linked to a burglary in Glengary, W.Va., and victims of a burglary in Virginia. About $4,000 in stolen property was returned to victims in the cases.

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