- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 23, 2008

HANCOCK, Md. | A three-day standoff with a burglary suspect holed up in a motel with his pregnant girlfriend ended Friday evening with the couple in custody, state police said.

Details about how James Prevatt III, 26, was captured were not immediately available.

A loud explosion was heard in the vicinity of the hotel at 7:36 p.m. An ambulance left the area at 7:49 p.m.

Police had surrounded the one-story motel since Wednesday night, when officers came to arrest Mr. Prevatt III, 26, who is wanted in four states.

Mr. Prevatt threatened to kill the officers and the woman, identified as Renee Reynolds, 21.

The Western Maryland motel was evacuated and dozens of law enforcement vehicles from local agencies, state police and the FBI lined the nearby road Friday.

On Thursday night, authorities had played a recording of Mr. Prevatt’s mother, from Monks Corner, S.C., requesting that he surrender, said state police spokesman Greg Shipley.

Police also used a robotic vehicle to send pizza and soda that Mr. Prevatt requested to his room Thursday evening. But Mr. Prevatt then threatened to shoot the robot and did not retrieve the food, Mr. Shipley said.

On Friday, the robot was able to successfully deliver hamburgers and soda, then in a separate trip deliver cigarettes.

Negotiators kept talking to Mr. Prevatt by phone Friday afternoon.

Mr. Shipley said Friday that Mr. Prevatt had warned officers that “it would be a danger for police to intervene.”

Mr. Shipley also said Miss Reynolds’ apparent late-term pregnancy was a factor in deciding how to proceed.

“There’s not two lives, there are three lives, and that has certainly been a significant factor in this,” Mr. Shipley said.

He also said Mr. Prevatt had slept for short periods but had been awake for most of the standoff.

Negotiators spoke with Miss Reynolds and she told them she was fine, Mr. Shipley said. He said it was Mr. Prevatt who told authorities that Miss Reynolds is pregnant.

Mr. Prevatt is wanted in Maryland, South Carolina, Massachusetts and Virginia on burglary and larceny charges, Mr. Shipley said.

The standoff at the America’s Best Value Inn on U.S. 522 stranded some other guests because their luggage and vehicles were inside the police line, where they could not be removed.

Troopers and deputies evacuated 12 occupied rooms of the 20-room motel at the start of the standoff at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Ohio travelers Doug Collin, of Kirtland, and Mary Lou Bender, of South Euclid, were finally able to continue their trip to visit her son in Tilghman Island, Md., after police retrieved their car and bags around 1:30 p.m. Friday.

“We just want to get our belongings and our car and get out of here,” Mr. Collin said.

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