A 74-year-old woman trying to get back her stolen wallet was hit with a car driven by one of the suspects as he tried to flee from the scene.
The woman and a good Samaritan trying to help her were both struck by the car and received non-life-threatening injuries, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Russ Holeman. Both were treated at the scene.
The incident began around 1:30 p.m. Monday when the woman was shopping at a grocery store in Monte Vista Crossings and had her wallet stolen. A review of the surveillance footage from the store showed a man, later identified as Charles Prince III, 25, distracting the woman as she shopped for her groceries. While he had her attention, a woman, later identified as Katrina Thrash, 26, crept up and stole the wallet from the woman’s purse.
According to the police report, Prince and Thrash went to a store in the 2800 block of Countryside Drive and were attempting to use one of the stolen credit cards to make a purchase, but were unsuccessful because the clerk recognized them as having used stolen credit cards at the store on a prior occasion, Holeman said.
The pair then went to a store in the 3000 block of Countryside and were trying to again use one of the stolen credit cards, this time for a large purchase. When the clerk asked for their identification, both Prince and Thrash started to run out of the store.
Just at that time, the 74-year-old woman came into the store looking for the thieves who had stolen her wallet. She recognized Thrash and Prince and alerted people that the pair had just stolen her wallet.
Thrash and Prince ran from the store with the 74-year-old woman and others chasing after them. Prince got into a vehicle, while Thrash continued to flee on foot.
The woman and others who had seen what was happening tried to stop Prince from driving away, Holeman said. Prince put the car in reverse and started backing up and in the process hit the woman and another person with the car door, Holeman said.
Prince also hit two vehicles as he was backing out. He was pulling out of the parking lot when a Turlock Police officer arrived at the scene and followed after him. A traffic stop was initiated and Prince was taken into custody without incident.
Thrash was found hiding in some nearby bushes and apprehended.
Prince was taken into custody on six charges of assault with a deadly weapon, credit card fraud, grand theft, conspiracy and elder abuse. Thrash was arrested on suspicion of credit card fraud, grand theft, conspiracy and elder abuse. She also had five warrants from other law enforcement agencies for which she was booked into jail.