Having a new main office in Martinsburg, WV, we have gotten to know some good people, and made some great connections along the way. The eastern panhandle of WV is dotted with small towns where everyone knows one another; yet is a major suburban hub to neighboring Washington DC, Baltimore, and other metro areas. TSE gained interest when a client requested our anti-crime / anti-terror services at a location where a serious incident had occurred. Within one week of being there, we decided to establish a new service district for the entire region.
Over the last couple of months, we have noticed a marked increase in what are classified as violent crimes, as well as property crimes. The increase of the frequency as well as the types of crimes are alarming. Just in the last week we’ve taken interest in two crimes in particular that occurred in Inwood, WV.
On 5/31/14 Jakkis Too of Inwood, WV was robbed at gunpoint by what we believe to be criminals that are highly organized and very dangerous. The took all necessary steps to mask their identities, and entered the business armed with handguns and demands for money. Though everyone was compliant inside, the suspects still took the unneeded initiative to tie people up inside before leaving with the money, using two-way radios to communicate with what was believed to be their getaway driver / accomplice(s).
Here’s where it gets scary.
On the morning of 6/1/14, suspects of the same description acting in a strikingly similar manor, entered Family Dollar in Inwood, WV in the same plaza as Jakkis Too. Upon entering one of the suspects struck the manager on duty with a firearm, even though the manager was not resisting whatsoever. They demanded he open the safe – which he did, and the suspects cleared out the safe. After the suspects took the money, and having a scared and compliant manager, the proceeded to assault him and ‘pistol-whip’ him until he was unconscious before making their getaway.
Inwood, WV is experiencing a marked increase in robberies and other violent crimes. A simple Google search will revel the news stories, and the stark reality of the situation. Inwood and Martinsburg alike are very precarious and attractive locations for criminals due to the multiple states near by, and the variety of routes and interstates to facilitate their escape. Most business and retail employees know to comply when being robbed, but when criminals take steps to use force when their victims are compliant is very concerning. Based on our Threat Matrix, we see a statistical increase in probability of similar incidents in the area, and under certain conditions there is an exponential increase.
Cameras in this instance did very little to help in the investigation – and did absolutely nothing to prevent the crime from occurring. Remember if being robbed, always remain calm and compliant with the aggressor(s); don’t do or say anything that could make the situation worse. After the aggressor has fled, lock the doors and immediately call 911 or your local law enforcement detachment for assistance, sharing any and all information you can recall about the aggressor(s) and vehicles used. The more descript you can be, the better chance of their capture.