Gang-related purse snatchings put Moultrie women on alert - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gang-related purse snatchings put Moultrie women on alert

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

MOULTRIE,  GA (WALB) – A couple of gang-related robberies in Moultrie have a lot of women scared to go shopping. Four people are in jail after police say they beat up two women and snatched their purses. And the thieves were bold. The first incident happened Sunday evening in the Wal-Mart parking lot with a lot of people and security cameras watching.

Monday's purse snatching happened in broad daylight. Now some Wal-Mart shoppers are taking extra precautions to stay safe.

Michelle Drennen and Paula Hutchinson walked to through the Wal Mart parking lot this afternoon more cautious than normal.

"It's sad when you have to constantly be on the look out and wonder, am I going to get robbed today," said Wal-Mart shopper Michelle Drennen.

She's scared because Monday around 1 Moultrie police say 28-year-old William Dossett, 17 year old Kately Fritz and a 16-year-old boy brutally beat a woman as she was walking to Wal-mart from Paradise Apartments near Knuck McCrary Park.

"He hit her in the face and knocked her down," said police investigator David Underwood.

After the beating police say they grabbed her purse and took off.

"Witnesses saw two of the offenders run into the back of the Walmart then eventually came out the front," said Underwood.

Dossett and Fritz were arrested in the parking lot. The 16-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl were arrested at a house nearby. All linked to the attempted snatching. Police say it was all a part of a new gang's initiation.

"That is scary," said shopper Hutchinson.

The foursome is also charged in a similar incident on Sunday. Police say Dossett and the 16-year-old boy beat up another woman for her purse this time in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

"It takes a coward to beat up on a woman," said Hutchinson.  Now some women aren't taking any chances.

"I use the buggy baby straps. I hook it around my pocket book so if they take the pocket book they're taking the buggy too," said Hutchinson.

"I keep it on my shoulder, and I always keep my phone on my hip just in case somebody does grab it," said Drennen.

And they say they're always fully aware of their surroundings. Ready for anyone that may want to hurt them or take what's theirs.

Here's a few other tips. When you're leaving a store have your keys ready in your hand so you don't have to fumble through your purse. Also if you ever feel uncomfortable walking out of a store or work ask someone to escort you to your car. And it always helps to shop with a friend, too.

All four people are charged with robbery by sudden snatching and aggravated assault in the two attacks. Police say they're investigating are a few other similar robberies from last month.


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