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Woman dragged in purse-snatching
Husband-wife team held on felony charges
Stephanie Arnold (left) and Lane E. Arnold.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
A local couple is in the Henry County jail without bond, charged with felonies in two alleged purse-snatchings last week, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Lt. Eric Winn and a release.
In one of the cases, the victim was dragged alongside the fleeing vehicle as she held onto her purse, Winn said.
Lane Everett Arnold, 26, and Stephanie Noel Arnold, 25, both of 17468 A.L. Philpott Highway, Martinsville, each was charged with two counts of robbery and one count of malicious wounding in connection with two incidents Saturday night.
Winn said the two are married.
All three charges are felonies, Winn said. He explained that the statute states that when property valued at more than $5 is taken from a person, the charge is a felony.
The first incident allegedly occurred around 8:41 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of El Parral, 670 Commonwealth Blvd., Martinsville, when a man allegedly grabbed Amber Martin’s purse and fled the scene in a red car.
Martin, who tried to hold to her purse that contained personal items and $10 in cash, fell to the pavement and was dragged alongside the fleeing vehicle in the parking lot until she let go of the bag, Winn said. He did not know how far she was dragged but said she let go before the car left the parking lot.
She suffered bruises and abrasions (scrapes) to her arms and back, he added.
“This was an actual physical confrontation with somebody — in these cases two women — trying to hold onto their purses,” Winn said. “Obviously, it didn’t bother” the alleged suspects “that the one woman actually fell to the ground and was drug by the car” after she was robbed.
The second incident occurred about 20 minutes later at 9:04 p.m. at Food Lion, 5835 Virginia Ave., Bassett.
During that alleged incident, a man allegedly grabbed a purse belonging to Tracey Booth and then fled the scene in a red car.
Booth also struggled to hold to her purse, which contained personal items including a cellphone and $4 in cash, as the man got into the car and sped away, according to Winn and the release.
“Fortunately, the strap broke and she wasn’t dragged,” Winn said, and Booth was not injured.
Booth was able to get the tag number off the car and the vehicle was subsequently found, Winn said.
Both purses were recovered, with most of the contents intact, aside from the cash.
“It appears the suspects left El Parral and went through the contents of the first pocketbook” on the way to the second incident, Winn said. He noted one purse was discarded along Koehler Road, and the other was found thrown on the side of the bypass.
The Virginia State Police helped the sheriff’s office locate the Arnolds on Saturday night, Winn said.
Both Lane Arnold and Stephanie Arnold were arraigned Monday and are being held without bail, according to General District Court records.
Attorney Larry Gott will represent Stephanie Arnold; a public defender will represent Lane Arnold, court records showed.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Nov. 8, records showed.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards up to $1000 for information related to crime. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information determine the amount of reward paid.