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Area man charged with armed robbery at kennel

By Staff | Jan 24, 2011

MARTINSBURG – A Shepherdstown man who allegedly took part in an armed home invasion robbery at a dog boarding company in Inwood last month was arrested Thursday on an outstanding felony warrant charging him with one count of first-degree robbery.

Ian Michael Derr, 21, of South Duke Street, was later arraigned and released after posting $50,000 bail.

A juvenile co-defendant in the case, a 16-year-old, previously was implicated and charged with first-degree robbery. Police obtained a pick-up order for him, so he could be taken into custody and detained at the Vicki Douglas Juvenile Detention Center.

The Dec. 9 robbery happened at dog boarding company called Beck’s Kennels at 125 Becks Lane in Inwood. Deputy K. Huffman of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched at 5:29 p.m. to a report of a robbery in progress at the location. When he arrived, one of the victims said she had been vacuuming a hallway carpet when two individuals wearing black clothing and black ski masks entered her home and demanded money.

The victim’s stepdaughter and daughter were also inside the home at the time. Both witnesses said the two masked men rushed in through a side entrance and stated “give me all the money,” and began shouting “where’s the (expletive) money,” while waiving handguns.

The victims said the men later walked into an office area and one of them took a safe deposit box. The victims said the men continued to wave the guns around and ran out the door with the safe deposit box.

On Jan. 11, Deputy Michael P. St. Clair and Lt. Gary Harmison of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department received an anonymous tip identifying a juvenile who may have been involved in the robbery.

Investigators traveled to the 16-year-old’s home and he agreed to speak with police. During an interview, the teen said he had no involvement with the robbery, but he did have information about it. He then began telling investigators that a friend, “Derrski,” told him that he and another individual named “Alex” got $8,000 from a house, records show.

St. Clair and Harmison then traveled to Shepherdstown where they located “Derrski,” later identified as Derr. He told investigators that the teen they had interviewed earlier had approached him and asked him if he wanted to make some quick money, records show.

One the date of the robbery, Derr said he and the teen drove around Beck’s Kennels looking for a place to park their car so it wouldn’t been seen. A young woman was with them, but she stayed in the car once they had found a place to park, records show.

Derr said he was armed with a .9-mm handgun and the 16-year-old police had spoken to earlier was armed with a pellet gun. Derr allegedly admitted to police that he and the teen took part in the robbery. Derr said he told everyone to sit down and and nobody would get hurt, records show.

He said the teen accomplice ran into a back room and grabbed a small safe deposit box.

They fled to the vehicle, and Derr said the teen forced open the safe deposit box and found $5,000 to $7,000 in cash, paperwork and a check for $5,000. Derr said the teen gave him $2,500 and kept the rest. They threw the safe in the river at “the Ruins” on River Road in Shepherdstown, records show.

Derr took investigators to the area. Police were unable to locate the safe, but they did find an envelope that was from Beck’s Kennels. Police also seized the firearm used by Derr in the robbery.

Derr told police he bought a sound system for his vehicle and marijuana with the money taken in the robbery, as well paid rent, records show.

Investigators also interviewed the female who Derr said was inside their car prior to the robbery. She said didn’t know the teen and Derr were going to rob a house that day. She also said they had given her $100 from the robbery, but she gave it back to them because she didn’t want to have any part in the incident.

She also told police that the teen suspect had talked to her about planning the robbery about a week before the incident, but she didn’t think he was actually going to rob the kennel.

A warrant subsequently was obtained for Derr’s arrest. He faces no less than 10 years in prison if convicted of first-degree robbery.