Carpet store owner arrested for skipping court Marshall faces dozens of theft charges

arson damaged Reese business

September 24, 1997|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Carroll County sheriff's deputies arrested yesterday the owner of a Reese carpet store on a warrant for failing to appear in court two weeks ago on theft charges. His business was heavily damaged Sunday by arson.

No charges have been filed in the fire at Marshall's Carpet & Services in the 1800 block of Baltimore Blvd., which was reported at 10: 48 p.m. Sunday, said Bob Thomas, deputy chief state fire marshal.

The owner, Roy D. Marshall, 32, of Willow Avenue in Westminster, was arrested about 9: 30 a.m. yesterday at a residence in Parkville after some resistance, said sheriff's deputies. They were acting on a tip, they said.

On Sept. 8, a Carroll County circuit judge issued a bench warrant for Marshall's arrest without bail after Marshall missed a court date on 13 charges handed up by a grand jury in July.

This month, two dozen charges have been added, according to court records, primarily theft and bad-check charges stemming from incidents between March 5 and July 21 and involving $23,000 to $25,000 and about two dozen customers.

All of the charges against Marshall accuse him of failing to deliver after going to customers' homes, giving estimates for carpeting and accepting 50 percent down payments.

Some customers who demanded refunds received bad checks, prosecutors said. Marshall also is accused of fraudulent use of a customer's credit card to pay his own bills.

He was being held without bail yesterday at the Carroll County Detention Center but may ask the court for a bail hearing. A court date has been set for November, but Marshall had no trial attorney listed.

Marshall served three weekends in the Detention Center and received 18 months' probation after being convicted of bad-check charges in July.

Thomas said state police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms were helping the fire marshal's office in the arson investigation.

The federal agency joined the investigation yesterday, he said, under a cooperative agreement involving any commercial loss of $100,000 or more. The damage in the Reese arson is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000 for the two leased buildings and their contents.

"A passing motorist, driving to Westminster on Route 140, saw smoke and drove to the Reese Fire Department," Thomas said. "A trooper on routine patrol was the first to arrive and found fire coming from the rear."

About 75 volunteer firefighters brought the two-alarm fire under control in about 40 minutes.

"Basically, what we have is a confirmed arson," said Thomas, who refused to disclose how the fire started. "We are nowhere near making any arrest."

Pub Date: 9/24/97

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