Fire extinguisher used to snatch purse from victim
Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 23, 2016
Five juveniles were allegedly involved in a strong-arm robbery that used a fire extinguisher as a distraction.
According to a report filed with the Picayune Police Department, the incident occurred on June 16, at about 9:09 p.m. in front of a local retailer. The victim told police officers that she had pulled up to the retailer to see if they had any boxes she could get. As she got out of her vehicle, three black males approached her, one carrying a fire extinguisher, and sprayed her with the device.
At that point one of the suspects entered her vehicle and took her purse before fleeing towards the Grande Oaks Apartments, the report states.
Officers spoke with an employee of the store, who said she too saw the juveniles standing outside earlier that evening, one of which was holding the extinguisher. According to the report, she recalled the area being “smoky” when she saw them.
As officers checked the surrounding area and found a “trail of fire extinguishers” in the Grande Oaks Apartments that ended in an area between two of the buildings, the report states.
In the area, the officers also found the key fob to the victim’s vehicle, which was returned to her.
In an attempt to locate the suspects, officers spoke with the apartment complex’s courtesy officer, who directed them to an apartment occupied by people fitting the description of the suspects.
Officers knocked on the door, finding three suspects, all juveniles aged 12, 13 and 17, inside. All three were shown to the victim who confirmed they were involved in the crime and they were subsequently charged with strong-arm robbery, the report states.
Assistant Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said officers reviewed surveillance footage from the area, determining there were five suspects. Officers are still working to determine the identities of the other two suspects, he said.