4 teens charged with mall purse snatching

Richardson, Stevens, Messer and Scholl (Source: Myrtle Beach Police)
Richardson, Stevens, Messer and Scholl (Source: Myrtle Beach Police)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Four teens have been charged in connection to the purse snatching at Coastal Grand Mall.

A purse can be considered a life line for most women and having it pried from one's hands is never a pleasant experience.

But it does happen and according to Myrtle Beach Police it has already happened three times so far in 2013.

On Saturday, Jan 12. a woman was robbed of her purse as she walked in the parking lot to her car at Coastal Grand Mall. The police report indicates the snatching took place around 1:00 p.m. The woman reported to police that a man approached her from behind and grabbed her purse which was strapped across her shoulder.

The woman says she ended up on the ground and then the man managed to free her purse from her grip and then got away in what she and eye witnesses say was a dark colored vehicle.

This purse snatching incident has other shoppers on alert like Suzan Gardner, who had been involved with local law enforcement for more than 20 years.

"I told my mother, if anyone grabs my purse I'm going to chase them down and beat the snot out of them," states Gardner who admits she checks bushes and underneath vehicles to make sure she is safe.

Joyce Owens has lived in Myrtle Beach since 1989 and she said she feels as safe as she did back in the late 80's. She does though admit to be on guard when out shopping in the Grand Strand, "I don't think about it in terms of being afraid I think of it in terms of being cautious."

Owens carries her purse with both arms in front of her, while Mickey Wright visiting from New Mexico, carries her purse with the strap across her chest.

Wright lived in Texas and said it seems much safer here in Myrtle Beach than there, but she adds, "In reality you have to be cautious everywhere you go."

MBPD spokesman Capt. David Knipes confirms four teenagers were taken into custody in connection with this crime after officers located a vehicle matching the description given by the victim.

Seventeen-year-olds Tanner Charles Scholl and Bryson Andrew Messer have been charged with strong armed robbery.

Morgan Chase Stevens and Hunter James Richardson, both 16-years-old, are being tried as adults. They are also charged with strong armed robbery. All four teens are students at Socastee High School.

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