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Friday, Aug 01, 2014

Three arrested in purse snatchings

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ST. PETERSBURG – Three men were arrested on charges of stealing purses from women in parking lots at stores across the county, and one woman was run over after struggling with one of the thieves, according to documents.

Byron Boatwright, 22, Stanley Hobbs, 21, and Jody Wyche, 20, all of St. Petersburg, were arrested Wednesday night on charges that included aggravated battery and robbery.

The woman, Gretchen Borer, she was unloading merchandise into her car at the Dollar Tree, 2567 Countryside Blvd., Clearwater, at about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday when Hobbs approached her, jail affidavits say.

Hobbs grabbed her purse and ran to a get-away car, but Borer gave chase and they struggled, the affidavits say. Hobbs pushed her to the ground, as Boatwright, the driver of the get-away car, was pulling away and he drove over her leg, the affidavits say. He then struck a car and backed up toward Borer, as she lay on the ground, before speeding off, the affidavits say.

Borer’s leg injury was described as serious in arrest affidavits.

Stolen from her were a Coach purse, a Verizon iPhone, and a wallet containing credit cards and cash, the affidavits say. The three split up the cash, each receiving $31, the affidavits say.

The three also are accused in a purse snatching at a Publix supermarket at 5577 Park St. N. in St. Petersburg on Dec. 30, the affidavits say. Hobbs grabbed a woman’s purse as she was loading groceries, then ran to a car where Boatwright and Wyche were waiting, the affidavits say.

Within 20 minutes, the suspects were using the victim’s credit card, the affidavits say.

The three also are accused of stealing $1,276 worth of jeans and plaid shirts from the Dillard’s department store at the Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, the affidavits say. Boatwright and Hobbs grabbed 13 pairs of jeans and two pairs of plaid shirts before running to a car where Wyche was waiting.

sthompson@tampatrib.com

(727) 215-6504

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