Man Arrested Following Attempted Bank Robbery

The Winchester Police Department received a call Friday just before 12:30 for an attempted bank robbery at United Bank on Berryville Avenue.  When units arrived on scene they were told a suspect left the area on foot.  Officers searched the area around United Bank for the male.  A suspect was detained at the corner of National Avenue and Raleigh Court and was taken in for questioning just before 2 p.m.  John Matthew Jenkins, 28, of Stephens City was arrested and charged with attempted robbery.

Winchester Sheriff’s Deputies, Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputies and a Frederick County K-9 Unit assisted in the search.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Man Arrested for Malicious Wounding

The Winchester Police Department is investigating a malicious wounding that occurred on Monday, June 24, 2013.  Just after noon officers were called to the Winchester News Stand at 30 East Piccadilly Street for the report of a stabbing.  When officers arrived they were informed that an altercation had occurred between a clerk and a customer.  During that altercation the customer stabbed the 77-year-old clerk in the wrist.  The clerk was treated at the scene.  Nicholas West, 56, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding.  West was arrested on North Loudoun Street and taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Crime Solvers at (540) 665-TIPS (8477).

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Investigation Continues into Deadly Fire

There have been a number of questions about Tuesday’s fatal fire on North Kent Street.  The purpose of this press release is to update the public on the investigation.  The Winchester Police Department and the Winchester Fire and Rescue Department’s Fire Marshals are conducting a joint investigation into the fire.  Joint investigations are conducted on all fires involving a fatality to determine the origin and cause of the fire, and the cause of death.  On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 2-year-old Christian Cruz died in the fire at 300 North Kent Street.  At this time the investigation is in the preliminary stages.  Two search warrants have been obtained and executed.  The first search was executed at 300 North Kent Street where the fire happened to help determine the origin and cause of the fire.  Investigators detected a strong odor consistent with that of flammable liquid in the living room of the house.  Evidence was collected and sent to the state forensic lab for analysis.  The second search was completed in a trash compactor at Winchester Medical Center.  The purpose of the second search was to recover the clothing worn by Sherry Cruz, the only adult inside the house when the fire happened.

The fire on Tuesday was very tragic, as a child lost his life and two others were injured.  We ask for the media’s patience as investigators continue to determine the cause of the fire.

The family is grateful for the community’s support and donations, but they ask that all monetary donations be made at Enders and Shirley Funeral Home in Berryville and all other donations be made to Highland Memorial Presbyterian Church in Winchester.

As we are able to release additional information, we will hold another press conference.

Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call Crime Solvers at 540-665-TIPS, Sgt. Frank Myrtle at (540) 545-4717, or Assistant Fire Marshal Matt Gearhart at (540) 545-4712.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Fatal Fire Under Investigation

On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 the Winchester Emergency Communications Center received a call at 12:38 p.m. in reference to a structure fire at 300/302 North Kent Street.  When units arrived on scene fire and heavy smoke were coming out of the front of the house.

Emergency personnel were informed that a child was still inside of the house.  A number of sheriff’s deputies, police officers, and firefighters attempted to go inside of the house to rescue the child, but the fire and smoke were too heavy.  The child was pronounced dead at the hospital.  The identity of the child is not being released until next-of-kin are notified.  A woman and another child were also taken to Winchester Medical Center.  The woman is being transported to a burn center.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The house is divided into four apartments.  Two of the apartments are vacant.

Units from all city fire stations responded to the incident with assistance from 13 Winchester Police Department Units, five Frederick County stations, and four units from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

No emergency personnel were injured.

As additional information becomes available it will be released by the Winchester Fire and Rescue Department.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Drug Task Force Cracks Down on Heroin

This year 14 people in the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force Area have died from overdosing on heroin.  It’s becoming a growing problem in our area as local law enforcement agencies have seen a sharp increase in heroin usage since the beginning of the year.  In addition to the deaths, 29 people have overdosed on heroin, causing injury to themselves.  As a result the Task Force is cracking down on heroin dealers in an effort to put an end to this growing epidemic.  The Task Force Command Board has shown great support in getting behind this initiative to focus on these recent increases.  “We are going to throw all of our resources; local, state, and federal, at the growing trend of heroin cases we’ve seen in our area in the last six months,” says Lt. W. Stotlemyer.

The Command Board of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force will hold a press conference on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 on the heroin problem in our area.  The press conference will be held at the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office at 10 a.m.

The Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force covers Frederick County, Winchester, Clarke County, Warren County, Front Royal, Page County, Strasburg, and Shenandoah County.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Two Arrested in Prostitution Ring

Miguel Angel Perez-Gutierrez

Miguel Angel Perez-Gutierrez

 Gricelda Lopez

Gricelda Lopez

On June 6, 2013 the Winchester Police Department executed a search warrant at 340 Woodstock Lane #3.  Officers were following up on information received about possible prostitution at this address.  While conducting surveillance, officers saw several vehicles parked in front of the residence and several males go into and leave the apartment.  One male told an officer he was there to have sex with a female for $180.

Miguel Angel Perez-Gutierrez, 27, of Maryland was arrested and charged with keeping a bawdy place, aiding in prostitution, no business license, unlawful to engage in business of massage, identity theft, and fugitive from justice out of Maryland.  Gricelda Lopez, 24, of Philadelphia was arrested and charged with prostitution, aiding in prostitution, keeping a bawdy place, no business license, and unlawful to engage in business of massage.  They were both taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center where they are being held without bond.

Members of the Winchester Police Department’s Community Response Team (CRT) including Master Patrol Officer R.A. Shillingburg and Officer D.W. Mowery are commended for their hard work and dedication on this case.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Winchester Woman Arrested for Child Neglect

Michelle Draper

Michelle Draper

A Winchester woman was arrested Thursday, June 6th and charged with two counts of child neglect.  Officers were notified around 1:30 Thursday afternoon of two children under the age of three playing in the street.  When officers arrived to the 100 block of East Pall Mall the children were soaking wet.  A 1-year-old male child was wearing a diaper, baby t-shirt, and did not have shoes on.  A 3-year-old female child was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and slippers.  The officer recognized one of the children from a previous incident and knew where their mother lived.  The children’s mother, Michelle Draper, 26, of Winchester was arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect.  She was taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center and was held without bond.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Vandalism at Construction Site

Jose Olguin-Arellano

Jose Olguin-Arellano

On May 16, 2013 around 6:40 a.m. Corporal J.D. Funk and Officer N.J. Morris were called to Merchant Tire and Auto at 2200 South Pleasant Valley Road for vandalism of the business.  The officers found that someone had spray painted graffiti at the construction site and that windows out of four garage bay doors had been broken.  The damage is estimated at $24,000.  Corporal Funk and Officer Morris were able to identify suspects in the case from an incident that occurred earlier in the morning.  They noticed that suspects from the earlier incident had paint on their hands that matched the color of the paint on the business.  Jose Olguin-Arellano, 18, of Winchester was arrested and charged with vandalism.  Two other juveniles from Winchester were also arrested and charged with vandalism.  They were released on a summons.  There is a fourth juvenile suspect in the case.

Around 1:19 a.m. Officer Morris was patrolling in the area of Allen Drive and Woodstock Lane when he observed four Hispanic males on the back of a trailer and truck.  The officer saw the four males remove a push mower from the trailer.  Three males were arrested.  A fourth male ran from the area.  Jose Olguin-Arellano was charged with petty larceny.  Two juveniles were charged with underage possession of alcohol.  These are the same suspects as in the vandalism of the business.  The two incidents remain under investigation.

Corporal Funk and Officer Morris did an excellent job connecting the suspects in these two incidents and charging those individuals.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Larcenies from Motor Vehicles

Items recovered from larceny from motor vehicle

The Winchester Police Department is investigating a number of larcenies from motor vehicles.  On May 12th around 5 a.m. officers were called to the area of Woodstock Lane and Allen Drive for two black males breaking into parked cars.  One suspect has been identified and charges are pending as the investigation continues.  Officers checked vehicles in the area and determined at least 17 vehicles had been broken into on Allen and Kinzel Drives.  Money and electronics were taken from the cars.  A Motorola power cord and USB cable (shown below) were recovered.  If you have information on the owner of these items, please contact the Winchester Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 540-545-4704.

Residents are reminded to lock their car doors and to close all their car windows.  Also, don’t leave anything of value inside your car.

Anyone with information on these car break-ins should call the Winchester Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 540-545-4704 or Crime Solvers at 540-665-TIPS (8477).

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

School Bus Incident

The Winchester Police Department received a call Monday morning at 8:34 a.m. from a Winchester Public School official reporting a disorderly juvenile on a special needs school bus.  A police officer responded to the scene, calmed the student, and remained with the student as the school bus continued its route.  While proceeding towards the school, the student was sitting next to the officer and he reached his finger into the officer’s holster and caused an accidental discharge of the weapon into the floor of the bus.  No one was injured.  Four students, a bus driver, and a bus aide were on the bus at the time.  Following the incident, students were transported to Daniel Morgan Middle School.

The police department is reviewing the situation per departmental policy.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov