Four teenagers are in jail after police accused them of a series of daytime purse-snatching incidents last week near the Triangle Town Center mall in North Raleigh. Police say there have been other purse snatchings on New Bern Avenue and Falls of Neuse Road recently, but those remain unsolved.
The first incident was outside the Walmart on Town Drive at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to the police report, when a purse was stolen from a 58-year-old woman.
Two incidents were on Friday. First, police allege, a 33-year-old woman was targeted at the same Walmart at about 12:45 p.m. Then, a purse was stolen from Karen Kvam, 25, less than two miles away and about 15 minutes later at the BJ’s Wholesale Club near Triangle Town Center, police records show.
Kvam told ABC11 that she was walking toward the BJ’s when, she said, “I felt this huge bang on my back like somebody just pounded me and yanked on my pocketbook and took off.” She said she tried to chase after the thieves but could not keep up.
“I’ve never been hit like that before,” Kvam told the television station.
Raleigh police spokeswoman Laura Hourigan said police arrested four boys, all 17 years old, in connection with the purse-snatching incidents. She said it appears the four were working together.
Tyheim Battle has been charged with larceny from person, aiding and abetting and conspiracy to commit felony larceny;
Keontre Jawshawn Brooks has been charged with aiding and abetting and conspiracy to commit felony larceny;
Brian Anthony Strickland has been charged with larceny from person, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to commit felony larceny;
Garrett Jovante Batcheler has been charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
On Friday, a woman who says her husband is a police officer began posting on social media about the purse-snatching incidents.
She wrote, “There has been an alarming amount of women being assaulted in parking lots in Raleigh on New Bern Ave, Falls of Neuse, and most recently the Triangle Town Center shopping area in the last couple of days.”
“Women are being thrown to the ground and their purses stolen,” she said on Facebook.
Hourigan confirmed in an email, “There were other purse snatching incidents that occurred on New Bern Ave and Falls of Neuse.”
“Detectives always investigate the possibility that there may be connections between crimes and will also do so in this case,” she added.
Duncan: 919-829-4880, @duncanreporting