Police searching for parking lot purse snatcher

Police searching for parking lot purse snatcher
Ashley Farmer (Source: Blytheville Police Dept.)
Ashley Farmer (Source: Blytheville Police Dept.)
Lakishan Young (Source: Blytheville Police Dept.)
Lakishan Young (Source: Blytheville Police Dept.)

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Blytheville police are searching for a man suspected of knocking an elderly woman down and stealing her purse.

The alleged robbery took place around 3 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of Walmart, 3700 E. Highway 18.

The 65-year-old victim told investigators she had just finished putting her purchases in her car when she felt someone pulling at her purse.

She turned to see a "small-framed masked male attempting to take her purse," said Captain Scott Adams.

When the woman resisted, the man jerked the purse away, causing her to fall to the pavement.

The man then got into the backseat of a blue Dodge Avenger occupied by several others and drove away.

Officers recognized the car from surveillance video and immediately began searching the area. They found the car, occupied with at least three people, at approximately 4:45 p.m. on the west side of town.

"The vehicle attempted to elude officers, but it eventually came to a stop," Adams said.

When officers approached the car, the backseat passenger escaped, leaving behind the driver and front-seat passenger.

Police arrested 19-year-old Lakishan Young and 22-year-old Ashley Farmer, who is currently out on bond for an aggravated robbery arrest in July, Adams said.

When officers searched the car, Adams said they found a debit card linked to the victim and "recently purchased liquor."

Surveillance video from the liquor store showed the Dodge Avenger arrive at the business and a male subject in the back seat present the card and receive the alcohol, Adams said.

Video then showed the vehicle park and Farmer enter the store. Once inside, Adams said Farmer attempted to purchase a lottery ticket but the clerk told her tickets could only be bought with cash.

During interviews with both women, Adams said Young denied any knowledge of the alleged purse snatching and said she did not participate. However, Adams said Young did admit to being in possession of the car all day long.

Farmer told detectives it was "Young's plan to take a purse and attempted to downplay her involvement," Adams said.

Before police stopped them, Farmer reportedly said they were going to the nail shop to use the debit card.

Both women were taken to the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office and charged as accessories and for profiting from the offenses of robbery, theft of property, second-degree battery, and fraudulent use of a debit/credit card.

Police also obtained an arrest warrant on the same charges for the third suspect, identified by the women as 26-year-old Travis Young.

On Thursday, Young and Farmer were arraigned in Blytheville District Court. The judge set a $3,500 bond for Young and a $1,000 bond on Farmer. Both are scheduled to appear in circuit court on Jan. 31.

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