Sheriff: Four teens arrested in purse snatching spree - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Sheriff: Four teens arrested in purse snatching spree

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RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

Four teenagers have been arrested on various charges after a crime spree that stretched through the Black Friday shopping weekend, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Leon Lott said Leon Howard III, 17, Joshua Rhode, 17, Wyatt Williams Jr., 17, and Donald Carswell, 18, were all apprehended thanks to valuable information provided by victims and witnesses of various robberies in late November and early December.

Several of the robberies took place from November 25 - 30 in the Two Notch Road area and near the Village at Sandhill, Lott said. The four are also accused of being involved in an armed robbery on Sandy Haven Drive in Elgin, according to investigators.

On December 6, deputies on special assignment to apprehend these suspects spotted a vehicle that fit the description described at previous larcenies by witnesses. The deputy performed an investigative traffic stop and observed a gun in plain view inside the vehicle, Lott said.

Information provided by forensic science, interviews of witnesses and victims, and video surveillance equipment led to the arrest of Rhode and Williams. The Sheriff added that additional information provided by the suspects led investigators to Howard.  

The four are accused of bring involved in all or some of the following incidents (as provided by the Richland County Sheriff's Department):

  • Friday December 6, 2013 – Sandy Haven Drive, Columbia 29229 the victim was robbed at gunpoint while walking to the store; suspects stole cash and the victim's prescription pills.
  • Saturday, November 30, 2013 – 10136 Two Notch Road, Columbia 29229 while walking in the parking lot of Ross Department store the suspects attempted to steal the victim's purse. The suspect reached through the passenger window (black SUV) and tried to grab the victim's purse knocking her to the ground. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the victim was able to retain her purse during this crime.     
  • Friday November 29, 2013 – 10136 Two Notch Road, Columbia 29229 while walking in the parking lot of Kohl's Department store the victim's purse was stolen off her shoulder by the passenger of the vehicle (black SUV) as the suspects drove by. The victim's Tinganello shoulder purse was stolen along with, her identification, cash, and various credit cards.
  • Wednesday November 27, 2013 - 10060 Two Notch Road, Columbia 29223 the victim's purse was stolen from her shopping cart as she was loading groceries into her vehicle. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the suspects drove (black SUV) up beside the victim and stole her purse containing cash, various credit cards, identification, wallet, and glasses.
  • Tuesday November 26, 2013 – 10136 Two Notch Road, Columbia 29229 the victim's purse was stolen from her shopping cart at Kroger as she was loading groceries into her vehicle. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the suspects drove (black SUV) up beside the victim and stole her purse containing a Droid cell phone, sunglasses, Sony MP3 player, and a wallet containing various credit cards.
  • Monday November 25, 2013 – 10136 Two Notch Road, Columbia 29229 the victim's purse was stolen from her shopping cart at Kroger as she was loading groceries into her vehicle. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the suspects drove (black SUV) up beside the victim and stole her purse containing her, drivers' license, and military identification.
  • Monday November 25, 2013 – 120 Forum Drive the victim's purse was stolen from her shopping cart at Bi-Lo as she was loading groceries into her vehicle. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the suspects drove (black SUV) up beside the victim and stole her purse containing various credit cards and her drivers' license.

Howard is charged with strong armed robbery and armed robbery. Rhode is charged with armed robbery, two counts of strong armed robbery, four counts of larceny, unlawful carry of a weapon, possession of narcotics, and driving under suspension. Williams is charged with unlawful carry of a weapon and two counts of larceny. Carswell is charged with strong armed robbery, attempted robbery, armed robbery, and three counts of petit larceny.

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