Winchester Police Investigate Breaking and Entering

The Winchester Police Department is investigating a breaking and entering that happened on January 28th in the 300 block of Avon Court. Between 8 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. someone broke into a townhome and stole the following items:

  • 3 televisions
  • A gaming system and games
  • Money
  • Jewelry
  • A cell phone
  • A tablet

The items are valued at a total of more than $3,000.

Detectives are hoping someone saw these items being taken from this area. Anyone with information on this incident is asked call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS. Individuals who are able to provide information that leads to an arrest in the case could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Crime Solvers Tips Help Lead to Arrest of Shoplifting Suspect

Tips called into the Crime Solvers Hotline led to the arrest of a shoplifting suspect. The Winchester/Frederick/Clarke Crime Solvers Hotline received around 25 tips last week after the Winchester Police Department released a surveillance photo of a suspect in a felony shoplifting. Jeanette Marie Barrett, 37, of Inwood, West Virginia was arrested around 4:30 Monday afternoon. Barrett is charged with one felony count of shoplifting.

Jeanette Marie Barrett

Jeanette Marie Barrett

Winchester Police Officers responded to Kohl’s, located in the 2100 block of South Pleasant Valley Road, around 5:30 p.m. on January 19th in reference to a shoplifting. A white female could be seen on surveillance cameras taking around $300 worth of jewelry and then leaving the store. She left in a grey four door sedan with a West Virginia license plate.

The Winchester Police Department would like to thank the public for its assistance in identifying the suspect in this case.

Two Charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine

On Sunday, January 25th around 7:30 p.m. Winchester Police Officers responded to the 1700 block of Amherst Street in reference to suspicious persons. Officers began investigating and made contact with the individuals at the business. Officers discovered numerous chemicals and other evidence inside of their vehicle that were consistent with a mobile meth lab. Agents with the North West Virginia Regional Drug Task Force responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. Vivian Sophia Howard, 31, and Ian Kirkwood Finch, 26, both of Winchester were arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and manufacturing methamphetamine. They were taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.

Ian Finch and Vivian Howard

Ian Finch and Vivian Howard

An investigation revealed that Howard and Finch had gone to several locations and attempted to purchase Pseudoephedrine. After they had been denied the purchases, they were in the process of trying to get other individuals to buy it for them. Pseudoephedrine is a common cold and allergy medication that is used in the production of methamphetamine.

Through the investigation it appeared that some of the chemicals found were used in previous mixtures to produce methamphetamine, however, the mobile meth lab was not active at the time law enforcement were in contact with the two suspects.

**The mugshot for Ian Finch was not immediately available.  This post will be updated with his picture once it is received.

Help Identify Suspect in Shoplifting

The Winchester Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect in a felony shoplifting that happened on January 19th. Officers responded to Kohl’s located in the 2100 block of South Pleasant Valley Road around 5:30 p.m. in reference to a shoplifting. A white female could be seen on surveillance cameras taking around $300 worth of jewelry and then leaving the store. She left in a grey four door sedan with a West Virginia license plate.Kohls Shoplifting Suspect

Anyone with information on the suspect in this case is asked call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS. Individuals who are able to provide information that leads to an arrest in the case could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Don’t Break the Law, Brake for Buses

The Winchester Police Department and Winchester Public Schools are teaming up on a campaign to remind drivers they have to stop when a school bus’s lights are flashing, even if they’re driving in the opposite direction unless there is a median. The campaign focuses on the safety of our children who get on and off school buses on a daily basis.Don't Break the Law, Brake for Buses Flyer

Drivers are reminded that whether you’re driving toward a stopped school bus or following behind one, you must stop when the bus’s flashing lights are on. When you are travelling on a four lane road without a divided highway and a school bus comes to a stop, you must also stop. Examples of these roads in the City of Winchester are Valley Avenue (Route 11) and Pleasant Valley Road.

Those in violation of the law will be charged with reckless driving, a class 1 misdemeanor that is punishable with up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

The campaign’s message is Don’t Break the Law, Brake for Buses. During the week of January 20th officers will be stepping up patrols to ensure drivers are stopping when a bus’s red lights are flashing.

Children often forget to look both ways when they are getting on or off the bus, and these traffic laws are in place to prevent an accident involving a school bus or the bus riders. Your cooperation can help ensure that our children get to school and back home safely every day.

Code of Virginia § 46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus; prima facie evidence.

A person driving a motor vehicle shall stop such vehicle when approaching, from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons, and shall remain stopped until all the persons are clear of the highway, private road or school driveway and the bus is put in motion; any person violating the foregoing is guilty of reckless driving. The driver of a vehicle, however, need not stop when approaching a school bus if the school bus is stopped on the other roadway of a divided highway, on an access road, or on a driveway when the other roadway, access road, or driveway is separated from the roadway on which he is driving by a physical barrier or an unpaved area. The driver of a vehicle also need not stop when approaching a school bus which is loading or discharging passengers from or onto property immediately adjacent to a school if the driver is directed by a law-enforcement officer or other duly authorized uniformed school crossing guard to pass the school bus. This section shall apply to school buses which are equipped with warning devices prescribed in § 46.2-1090 and are painted yellow with the words “School Bus” in black letters at least eight inches high on the front and rear thereof. Only school buses which are painted yellow and equipped with the required lettering and warning devices shall be identified as school buses.

The testimony of the school bus driver, the supervisor of school buses or a law-enforcement officer that the vehicle was yellow, conspicuously marked as a school bus, and equipped with warning devices as prescribed in § 46.2-1090 is prima facie evidence that the vehicle is a school bus.

Update on Items Taken From Storage Units

The Winchester Police Department wants to update the public on items that were taken out of storage units at All Points Self Storage. The following items have been identified as stolen:

  • Honda Dirt Bike – red and white in color
  • 32 inch Vizio television
  • Gibson Acoustic Guitar
  • Fender Telecaster Guitar
  • 2 guitar amps

On January 11th around 10:45 a.m. officers responded to the business in the 3000 block of Shawnee Drive for reports of storage units being broken into. It was discovered that several locks had been cut off of the units. The incident happened during the overnight hours between January 10th and 11th.

Anyone with information on these incidents or the items taken is asked to call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS. Individuals who are able to provide information that leads to an arrest in the case could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Winchester Police Investigate Breaking and Entering

The Winchester Police Department is investigating several incidents of breaking and entering that occurred at All Points Self Storage located on Shawnee Drive. On January 11th at approximately 10:45 a.m. officers responded to the business after it was discovered several locks had been cut off of storage units. It is believed this incident occurred during the overnight hours between Saturday and Sunday. A total of 75 storage units were entered.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Division at 540-545-4704 or Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS.

Winchester Man Arrested for Crimes Against Children

The Winchester Police Department arrested a man Monday night for sexually assaulting children. LaMarcus Thomas, 30, is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault against children. The victims in this case are a 12-year-old male and 14-year-old male from Winchester. The alleged crimes occurred on October 11th.

LaMarcus Thomas

LaMarcus Thomas

Thomas was arrested just after 6 p.m. Monday night in the 500 block of North Loudoun Street and taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center where he was held without bond.

This case remains under investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division. Anyone with information on this case should contact the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS or Detective C.W. Coleman of the Winchester Police Department at 540-545-4704.

Update on Fatal Crash Involving Bicyclist

The victim of a fatal crash that happened Friday night is 59-year-old Kevin Patrick Doherty of Winchester. Doherty was traveling westbound on Handley Boulevard on his bike when he was hit by an SUV that was turning eastbound on Handley Boulevard from Stewart Street. He was taken to Winchester Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the SUV was charged with reckless driving for failing to yield to the right of way of the bicyclist.

The Winchester Police Department sends its condolences to both families involved in this tragic crash.

Fatal Crash Under Investigation

The Winchester Police Department is investigating a fatal crash involving a man on a bike. Around 7 p.m. officers responded to the intersection of Handley Boulevard and South Stewart Street for a pedestrian struck. An SUV was turning eastbound on Handley Boulevard from Stewart Street when it struck a male on a bicycle who was traveling westbound on Handley Boulevard. The male was struck in the middle of the intersection. He was taken to Winchester Medical Center where he died. The victim is a 59-year-old from Winchester whose identity will not be released until next-of-kin are notified. Martha Gaines, 68, of Frederick County is charged with reckless driving.

The incident remains under investigation.

Additional information regarding this incident will be released once it is available.