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W.Va. residents charged after botched purse grab

February 28, 2006|by ROBERT SNYDER

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two Martinsburg residents were jailed Monday after allegedly snatching a purse over the weekend from a woman who refused to give it up without a fight.

Kana H. Kennedy, 20, and 24-year-old Brian Grant, both of 603 S. Raleigh St., were charged with aggravated robbery in Berkeley County Magistrate Court after allegedly grabbing a purse from a shopping cart as they drove past a woman Sunday as she was loading her groceries into her car in a parking lot outside a Wal-Mart in Martinsburg, according to a police report.

Kennedy and Grant were arrested by Martinsburg detectives G.B. Swartwood and S. Doyle early Monday at 197 Gant Drive in Martinsburg without incident after police tried to find them at several residences, police said in a news release.

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The victim told police she eventually grabbed the keys from the ignition once the car came to a stop, after leaping into the vehicle to retrieve her purse and wallet, according to police. She said she began to struggle with a woman in the passenger side while a man drove the car around the outer loop of the Martinsburg Mall, police said.

A witness at the scene outside the Bon-Ton department store said she saw a car driving around the mall with a woman hanging out of the passenger side door, her feet dragging on the ground. The witness said it looked like the woman was trying to get out of the car, police said.

Once the car stopped, a juvenile in the back seat gave the victim her wallet, which provoked another struggle between Kennedy and the victim, according to police.

The victim, who later went to City Hospital complaining of chest and neck pain, was able to identify Kennedy from a photo lineup, police said. She reported that about $300 was stolen from her wallet, according to police.

The pair were arraigned by Magistrate Sandra Miller, with a cash only bond set for each at $50,000. Aggravated robbery, a felony, carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in a state penitentiary.

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