Four charged in armed robbery at Woodstock diner
Investigation leads to chase, search warrant.
Four people have been charged in the Friday night armed robbery of Ben’s Diner in Woodstock.
Following a chase and the execution of a search warrant Saturday evening, going into Sunday morning, three were arrested and one suspect had been at large until late Sunday night.
Woodstock Police Chief Eric Reiley said Andrew Shoemaker, 18, Raymond Washington, 27, Leonard Garris Jr., 28, and Andrea Scalf, 43, have been charged with armed robbery, the use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and the conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
Washington was captured late Sunday night by Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Woodstock Police, according to a post on the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page. He was also charged with the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, failure to stop for a law enforcement officer, driving on a suspended license, and reckless driving.
Reiley said the three men confronted the cashier at the diner just before 8 p.m. Friday, demanding money from the register. One of them brandished a pistol. The three eventually fled the scene without obtaining any cash from the register. No one was injured at the scene.
On Saturday, deputies with the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that a white Jeep was involved with the robbery, according to Lt. Chris Baker.
Upon seeing a vehicle matching the provided description in Maurertown, an officer initiated a traffic stop at roughly 11:20 p.m. at the north end of town on U.S. Route 11.
“Last night [Saturday], one of our deputies who was on patrol came upon a vehicle that may be tied into this incident,” Baker said. “That vehicle had an equipment violation, and he initiated a traffic stop. Once initiated, the vehicle took off.”
After deputies made chase, the vehicle stopped and Shoemaker fled on foot from the passenger seat on Route 11 near the Department of Motor Vehicles. Officers then detained and charged him with armed robbery, the use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and conspiracy to commit a robbery.
The driver, Washington, continued the chase in the vehicle until he stopped near the fairgrounds and fled on foot.
After Washington fled, two men remained in the backseat and were later charged with crimes unrelated to the chase and robbery. One of them, Trey Riley, 18, of Edinburg, was charged with underage possession of alcohol. The other, Rodney Bullard, 22, of Woodstock, was charged with appearing in public while intoxicated.
Baker said despite an extensive, overnight search effort, Washington had not been detained. Details of his arrest on Sunday were not available by press deadline. The Virginia State Police loaned a K9 unit and helicopter for the manhunt, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office also loaned a K9 unit, and the Woodstock Police Department assisted in the hunt as well.
In an unrelated case, Washington is scheduled to appear Wednesday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court for the distribution of a Schedule-I or Schedule-II substance and several other charges dating back to November of 2015.
After receiving video footage of the suspects from an adjoining business and interviewing witnesses from the diner, Reiley said the department had enough information to file for a search warrant at Apartment B10 on 1284 Ox Road, an address associated with the robbery.
“As we were looking at video and talking to witnesses, we looked for people of interest,” he said. “That’s how we were directed to the search warrant at Ox Road. We felt we had enough information to justify going there and continuing the investigation.”
Officers then executed a search warrant. That search, which occurred as sheriff’s deputies were making chase, led to the arrests of Garris and Scalf.
Reiley said that while he didn’t have the warrant in front of him with specifics, investigators found several items on site that tied the two suspects to the robbery.
He said Scalf was not present in the video, available on the Woodstock Police Department’s Facebook page, but through the investigation, it was determined she provided support for the robbery.
According to the Shenandoah Circuit Court database, Garris was charged in July with attempted arson in the Wal-Mart in Woodstock. He pleaded guilty to the offense in November and is still on probation for the matter.
Any readers with information on the robbery are encouraged to call the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Officer at 540-459-6100.
Information on bond and court appearances for the suspects was not available as of Sunday evening.
Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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