Flagler Sheriff's Office gets handle on purse thieves

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  • | 4:00 a.m. April 28, 2011
  • Palm Coast Observer
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PALM COAST — It's considered rude to ask to see inside a woman's purse. That's a rule two Palm Coast women conveniently forgot.

The following is a statement from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office:

Two arrested in purse-snatching spree

Two Palm Coast women were arrested April 27, after four women reported their purses had been stolen.

Rhonda Larkins, 27, of 10 Whittlesey Lane, is charged with robbery by sudden snatching, battery on the elderly, petite theft and violation of felony probation. She is being held with no bond on the violation of probation charge.

Vanessa Guzman is charged with four counts of being a principal to robbery and petite theft. She was additionally charged with tampering with evidence, introduction of contraband into a corrections facility and possession of a controlled substance after deputies found prescription medication in her purse while she was being processed into the facility. Her bond is $12,000.

At 4:18 p.m., April 27, the Communications Division of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office received four different reports of purse snatching from Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Walgreen’s, all near the Cypress Point Shopping area in Palm Coast.

Within minutes of receiving a description of the assailants, deputies located Larkins and Guzman nearby on Palm Coast Parkway. Two victims were reported at Walmart. One was 75 years old and the other was 64. At Winn Dixie, the victim was 62, and at Walgreens, there was another 64-year-old victim.

“These were crimes of opportunity. These two targeted unsuspecting, older women and both are lucky that their crimes did not result in serious injury to any of their victims,” said Flagler County Sheriff Donald W. Fleming.

Fleming said women should be alert to their surroundings when they are shopping. Many times, purses and wallets are taken when criminals, working in groups, create a distraction while one snatches the valuables.




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