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Man charged with robbery in purse snatchings

June 07, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Two feisty victims of separate purse snatchings Saturday were able to slow and then stop the suspect long enough for citizens to hold the man for police.

Cooperation between Martinsburg City Police and the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department led to the apprehension of the suspected purse snatcher, the alleged getaway driver and a third person who caused a disturbance at the second incident.

The first incident occurred Saturday afternoon at the Spring Mill Wal-Mart, where a 68-year-old woman was approached by a man who grabbed her purse in the parking lot.

Deputies said the woman was thrown to the ground and dragged across one lane of the parking lot while screaming for help.

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Three witnesses unsuccessfully attempted to catch the suspect. An attempt to block his vehicle also failed, deputies said.

The woman was injured, but refused medical treatment.

As deputies were collecting information about that incident, they got word that Martinsburg police had suspects in custody at Weis Market, 1102 N. Queen St., where a similar incident occurred at 6:44 p.m. Saturday.

In that incident, a woman was approached by a man who tried to take her purse. She too was pulled across the parking lot as she tried to hold onto her purse, police said.

Two customers tackled the man and held him down until police arrived. Police said a woman caused a disturbance and was taken into custody, as well.

A search of the man by police turned up property belonging to the woman who was accosted earlier at Wal-Mart, police said.

Ryan Lee Henson, 22, address unknown, was charged with first-degree robbery. He was being held at the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond, jail officials said.

Randall Keith Brining, 26, address unknown, was apprehended inside the alleged getaway vehicle in the Weis parking lot. Brining was being held on a $40,000 cash bond.

Kandi Barrett, age and address unknown, was jailed on a $684 bond for obstructing police, profane swearing and providing false information, jail officials said.

Officers A.J. Garcia, E.L. Chrisman and Sgt. T.L. Stanley handled the investigation for Martinsburg City Police. Deputies C.D. Hess, T.A. Sherman and Lt. R.L. Gardner investigated the Wal-Mart incident.

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