A 45-year-old man from Woodbridge, Virginia, has been accused of engaging in three theft crimes on the same day. He faces two charges of robbery and one grand larceny charge. The first charge involves allegedly accosting a 43-year-old woman in a commuter parking lot at 2250 Prince William Parkway at 6:35 a.m. on a Friday morning in Prince William County. He was in his car according to police, and grabbed the woman's purse from her shoulder according to the woman's version of events.
She claimed to have suffered some minor injuries in the incident because of being dragged shortly before the purse was pulled free and the man drove away. A scant few hours later, at 9:01 a.m. that same day, police received a second report of a robbery from a 37-year-old woman when they were summoned to the 1300 block of Bayside Avenue. She claimed that a man had knocked her down and drove away after stealing her purse. Police believed that the defendant had committed both robberies and that the description of the car indicated the same vehicle. The second woman also claimed to have suffered injuries characterized as minor during the purported robbery.
The third alleged crime was a theft from a restaurant located at 13325 Woodbridge Street. Police reports indicated that a man believed to be the defendant entered the Soul Food Restaurant at 3:28 p.m. and stole money from the restaurant's cash register, taking advantage of a moment when a business employee's back was turned. He then drove away in a vehicle that matched the description of the car used in the other two incidents.
Police arrested the defendant after stopping his car close to the Prince William Parkway on Jefferson Davis Highway. News reports did not indicate the amounts supposedly taken in the three incidents, whether any of the money or property reported stolen was in the defendant's possession at the time of his arrest, or whether the defendant was identified as the person involved in any of the three offenses by the witnesses. Even if he had been, of course, eyewitness identification is notoriously unreliable and frequently focuses on such factors as race. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know how to challenge and undermine such identifications at trial through skilled cross examination.
Source: Woodbridge Patch, "Police: Man Goes on Crime Spree, Robs Two Women in One Day" Rachel Hatzipanagos, Jan. 21, 2014