Police Chase for Speed Nets Robbery Suspect

By Linda Cicoira — A suspect is in custody following an armed robbery Wednesday at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Onley, according to Accomack Sheriff Todd Godwin.

A report of the incident was made to the sheriff’s office at 12:18 p.m. After deputies arrived, it was determined that a black female wearing dark clothing entered the church and robbed an unidentified victim of an undisclosed amount of money. The suspect fled on foot.

Meanwhile a state police chase resulted in the arrest of Bertisha Rose Johnson, 52, of Onancock, who was pursued after she allegedly was speeding. 

She was later charged with robbery, abduction and use of a firearm in a felony in connection with the incident at the church.

Trooper Kurt Johnson attempted to stop a 2001 Ford Focus, operated by Bertisha Johnson, on Front Street in Accomac, 1st Sergeant Ben E. Jeffrey Jones reported. She failed to stop and the pursuit ensued. The trooper used the Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) in an attempt to apprehend the suspect.

The PIT maneuver is a tactic “by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to abruptly turn sideways, causing the driver to lose control and stop,” an online dictionary states.

The suspect continued to flee. “The vehicle she was operating was located abandoned in Parksley,” Jones said. “Ms. Johnson was taken into custody on Adams Road in Greenbush after she was spotted in the wood line” by Accomack deputies. 

She was also charged with felony eluding, felony assault of a law enforcement officer and multiple traffic infractions, Jones said. 

“The excellent cooperation between the Accomack Sheriff’s Office and the State Police was paramount in the successful apprehension of Ms. Johnson,” Jones noted. Assisting the sheriff’s department were Onley and Onancock police. 

Johnson is being held with bond denied in Accomack Jail

Anyone with information about this or any other crime, should call the sheriff’s office at 757-787-1131 or 757- 824-5666.  Tips may also be submitted through the sheriff’s website at www.accomackcountysheriffsoffice.org

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