- The Washington Times - Monday, February 5, 2007



Woman charged with MVA scheme

A Temple Hills woman has been arrested on charges that she tried to defraud more than 20 people at a Motor Vehicle Administration office, state police said yesterday.

Kimberly Barnes was taken into custody Saturday and charged with numerous counts of theft.

The arrest was made after a state trooper said Miss Barnes was pretending to be a worker at the agency’s Largo office.

Police said the trooper saw Miss Barnes sneak behind the counter of an information kiosk in an apparent attempt to convince others that she worked there. At about the same time, the trooper was contacted by one of the victims. It was then learned that the woman at the kiosk had offered to erase his driving record, police said.

Police said Miss Barnes had charged each victim money to either arrange for jobs within the agency or to clear bad-driving entries from their records.

Troopers expect to file more charges after conferring with the Prince Georges County State’s Attorney’s Office.


Search for stolen horse ends happily in W.Va.

A horse stolen from a Harford County woman was found in West Virginia.

K.D. and Kelli Hess of Leon, W.Va., said they bought the starved-looking but beautiful mare in December at an auction because she was headed to the slaughterhouse.

The horse was in reality Halo Fever, a pedigreed, 6-year-old former racing thoroughbred worth $6,000. The horse had been stolen from Lisa Fitzpatrick.

Miss Fitzpatrick said the horse’s caretaker, a West Virginia woman whose name has yet to be released by police, said Halo Fever died in her stall. Police reported she sold the mare for $110 at a livestock auction.

After getting suspicious answers as to the whereabouts of the horse’s body, Miss Fitzpatrick got the state Agriculture Department involved. Investigators found the mare at the Hess home. The Hesses are going to keep the mare with Miss Fitzpatrick’s blessing.

Miss Fitzpatrick said she will file a civil lawsuit against the horse thief.


Stolen cell phone leads to suspect

A stolen cell phone led police to a man sought in the stabbing of a woman and the theft of her purse and phone.

Police said Rozza Alston approached the 80-year-old woman outside the KFC at North Avenue and St. Paul Street on Jan. 19.

Investigators tracked down Mr. Alston using the signal from the woman’s cell phone, police said. Officers got a warrant for his apartment and found the woman’s identification and credit cards in Mr. Alston’s wallet.

Police say he confessed and said he was trying to support his drug habit.

Mr. Alston was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault and weapons charges. He’s being held without bail.

Police say the woman is recovering.


Zoo celebrates bear’s birthday

The National Zoo over the weekend celebrated the birthday of one of its older residents — a female spectacled bear.

The bear named Bandit turned 30 and is thought to be one of the oldest spectacled bears in the country. She was treated to a public celebration Saturday with a birthday cake made of her favorite treats — cantaloupe, grapes and a decorative edging of smelt.

Bandit’s birthday was Jan. 28.

The zoo’s new 15-year-old male spectacled bear, Nikki, also was given a special treat.

Spectacled bears are native to the mountains of South America. They typically have a life span of 25 years in captivity. The World Conservation Union lists the bears as “vulnerable.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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