- Sep 05
MPD Solves Breaking and Entering of Local Bike Shop with Arrests
Martinsburg Police Officers recently responded to a breaking and entering and theft of two valuable bicycles from the Eastern Panhandle Bicycle Company located at 805 East Moler Avenue. Quick action and follow-up by the responding officers resulted in the arrests of two juvenile offenders and the recovery of both bicycles.
On Friday, August 17th at approximately 2:00 a.m., MPD officers responded to a business alarm at the Eastern Panhandle Bicycle Company. They were met on the scene by the business owner, Mr. Brian Weber, who informed the police that unknown offenders had broken into his store and stolen two new bicycles, valued at $1,000 and $600. Corporal Marybeth Cole determined that entry had been made through a second story window where the offenders had left a pair of bolt cutters and wet shoe prints on the building’s roof. Officers had also responded to an alarm at the shop on the previous night and observed evidence of a partial entry to the building but not into the shop area.
Leaving the scene after it had been secured and processed, Sergeant Frank Polinik encountered two male juveniles riding bicycles on the street and alertly observed that the bikes matched the description of those stolen from Weber’s store. When Sergeant Polinik attempted to stop the suspects to investigate, they both fled. Polinik put out the information over the radio, followed one of the juveniles, and was immediately assisted by fellow officers. The juvenile ditched his bike and continued to run with officers following for several blocks in foot pursuit. Corporal Cole chased the fleeing suspect and located him on Grazier street where the 14-year-old was placed in custody. The juvenile had in his possession a pair of gloves and a mask. Officers recovered the stolen bicycle.
Patrolman Scott Shelton joined in the investigation which quickly identified the second breaking and entering suspect as a 17-year-old male. Officers relocated to his residence. The offender was not found at that time but was subsequently placed in custody. The second stolen bicycle was found in the 14-year-old’s back yard. Patrolman Chris Williamson, who had responded to the first night’s alarm, also assisted in developing further information in the case.
“Breaking and Entering is one of the most difficult crimes to solve, so when things come together like this, it’s very satisfying—not only catching the bad guys but also returning what was taken to the victim” stated Corporal Marybeth Cole. “But good things happen when you have teamwork and officers who are really motivated,” Cole added. “Even though these two suspects were young teens, they have to be held accountable for their actions. I hope we caught them before it’s too late and they can still choose a better path,” the MPD Corporal said.
Mr. Brian Weber, the business owner, was delighted with the quality of the MPD response and successful result. “The officers were on top of everything before I even got there, out back in the dark stamping through the weeds and searching for clues. They were so good. I couldn’t believe how fast they solved this. Sergeant Polinik, Corporal Cole, Officer Williamson, and Officer Shelton—they were all awesome!” exclaimed Weber. “Of course, I’m happy to get the bikes back but to me that’s not the most important thing,” said Weber. “There are lots of nights I’m working here late but I always see police on the street, running radar or on patrol—and when I really needed help, they were there. I felt secure. Safe. It’s a great feeling. I love it,” Weber added.
The 14-year-old offender is facing charges of Breaking and Entering, Fleeing on Foot, and Obstruction of an Officer. The 17-year-old offender was already on Juvenile Probation for previous criminal offenses. He has already pled to Conspiracy to Break and Enter and has had his probation revoked.