November 2, 2012

Three arrested in purse snatching robberies

The Dalton Police Department arrested 26-year-old Robert Michael Deel and 17-year-old Troy Allen Petruzzi Tuesday night on charges related to a pair of purse snatching robberies that occurred earlier in the day.

Deel, of 901 Dunn Road in Crandall, and Petruzzi, of 1805 Wendell St. in Dalton, are charged with robbery by forcible purse snatching and criminal attempt to commit a misdemeanor. Justin Michael Officer, 22, turned himself in Friday morning on a warrant for the same charges.

After receiving a report of a purse snatching robbery at the Walmart on East Walnut Avenue which was being investigated by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, Dalton officers responded to a report of a purse snatching at the Kroger on West Walnut Avenue.

That incident happened at approximately 1:15 p.m. A store employee on break was sitting on a bench in the breezeway near the shopping carts in front of the store when she saw two males approach through the breezeway. After the men talked with each other, they split up and one suspect, described as a Hispanic male wearing a dark jacket and lighter-colored hoodie, approached the victim and asked for a cigarette. When the victim reached out to hand him one, he grabbed her purse and ran around to the back of the store.

Investigators were able to retrieve surveillance video from a neighboring store which showed a small, silver, two-door car leaving the parking lot at the time of the incident.  

Several hours later, a DPD detective on his way home from his shift spotted a vehicle matching the description and followed it into the Walmart parking lot on Shugart Road. Officers met with the men in the vehicle, Deel and Petruzzi, and determined they were involved in the incidents. After conducting more interviews at the Police Services Center, Deel and Petruzzi were arrested and a warrant was issued for Officer’s arrest.

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