WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- The Waynesboro Police Department has made a significant arrest in a multi-state crime spree involving larcenies of thousands of dollars of property from vehicles in “smash & grab” thefts.
Several of the thefts occurred over the past weekend at businesses in Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta County. In addition, officers recovered property from crimes reported in seven other Virginia localities and two other states.
Officers arrested Anthony Duane Martin, 28, formerly of Spotsylvania County after a brief vehicle and foot chase early Wednesday morning. He currently has no fixed address.
On April 9, 2014 at 1:50 a.m., an officer noticed a 2008 Hyundai Elantra parked in a remote part of the Walmart parking lot with three people inside. The officer approached the male driver and spoke with him. The driver indicated that he and his passengers had stopped to use the store’s restroom and were just “passing through.”
The officer, being aware of the recent thefts in the area, returned to his cruiser and did a routine query of the vehicle’s Georgia license plate through the National Crime Information Center. It indicated that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Douglasville, Georgia on March 27, 2014.
Before the officer could approach the vehicle again, it sped off the lot heading toward Lew Dewitt Boulevard. Another officer located the vehicle and attempted to stop it, but it continued north on Lew Dewitt Blvd. The vehicle then turned onto the Kmart parking lot at 2712 West Main Street.
Martin, who was the driver, jumped out of the moving vehicle and fled on foot, as did the two passengers. Officers were able to get all three into custody shortly afterwards. The abandoned vehicle drifted into a curb where it came to rest.
After detaining the three individuals, officers examined the contents of the vehicle and found items belonging to victims of thefts reported in the city on April 5 and April 6. These burglaries occurred at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Outback Steakhouse, Hardee’s and Zeus Theater. Officers also found property from victims from the cities of Staunton, Richmond and Fredericksburg; and the counties of Augusta, Rockingham, Hanover, Tappahannock, Spotsylvania and Albemarle County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Among the 80 items of property recovered were two handguns, electronics, purses, book bags, several packages of cigarettes, prescription medications, tools and various articles of clothing.
Martin is presently facing five Waynesboro charges. One felony count of grand larceny of a vehicle, one felony count of eluding, two felony counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license.
He is being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail without bond.
He is facing additional charges in Waynesboro and the other jurisdictions involved.
The two other occupants of the vehicles were identified, cleared and released.
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