- Dec 30
Armed Robbery Suspect Arrested
On Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 Pfc. Gibbons of the Martinsburg Police Department located Mr. Thomas Obrien Ferguson and took him in to custody without incident on three outstanding warrants for two armed robberies and one robbery that were committed during Christmas week in the Foxcroft Towne Center mall Area. Ferguson (DOB: 7/12/59) has been charged for the three crimes.
On December 21, 2015 the Martinsburg Bon-Ton store was robbed and two more robberies were committed at Ruby Tuesday restaurant and Sophia’s gaming establishment on December 23rd. In two of the three incidents the robber displayed a gun to threaten his victims.
MPD Captain George Swartwood praised the hard work and effort that led to the arrest. “We had a string of robberies just before Christmas and at first had very little evidence to go on. But through the observation, initiative, and skill of our officers, led by Corporal Justin Harper, we solved the case and took a dangerous offender off the street. It was just great police work and a total team effort between the police and the community.”
Anticipating the risk of increased crime, Martinsburg Police Officers had been maintaining increased patrols in the area and responded immediately to each incident. Officers quickly reviewed video surveillance footage of the robberies on December 23rd and combined with MPD Corporal Justin Harper’s alert observations of a person-of-interest, the investigation began to move quickly.
Officers were able identify Mr. Ferguson as a possible suspect in both incidents. On Christmas Eve, Corporal Harper and other MPD officers obtained additional video footage and evidence related to the case including clothing that appears to have been worn by Mr. Ferguson during the robberies and obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s residence to recover additional evidence. With the additional evidence Corporal Harper was able to establish probable cause for warrants to be issued for the arrest of Mr. Ferguson by the Berkeley County Magistrate Court for the robberies that occurred at Ruby Tuesday and Sophia’s. On December 29th Corporal Adam Albaugh created a photo lineup that included a photograph of Mr. Ferguson. A witness to the first armed robbery at Bon-Ton positively identified Mr. Ferguson as the individual who had robbed the store and an additional warrant was issued by the Berkeley County Magistrate Court for armed robbery.
Chief Maurice Richards also commended the work of MPD officers. “Three robberies in two days was a public safety concern and caused fear in our community. I couldn’t be more proud of the teamwork and professionalism of the Martinsburg Police Department in protecting our community and solving this problem.”