Photo Gallery | Witness tip leads to arrest of trio wanted in purse-snatching
A tip from a witness lead police to a trio they say were involved in an attempted purse-snatching in a grocery store parking lot.
According to the Sumter Police Department, around 1:40 p.m. on June 5, officers were dispatched to the Piggly Wiggly parking lot located at 1011 Broad Street in reference to a purse-snatching that just occurred.
Upon arrival, officers spoke with the 28-year-old victim who reported she was assaulted by 21-year-old Lavadijah Anderson who was attempting to steal her purse, the report stated.
The victim reported that as she walked to her vehicle, Anderson approached her from behind and grabbed her purse.
While attempting to hold on to her purse, the victim was knocked to the ground, then punched and kicked in her head and body, according to police.
A patron witnessing the incident ran to assist the victim and attempted to stop Anderson from assaulting her.
Anderson then jumped into a green 1991 Lexus and fled the scene.
A witness was able to provide police with a vehicle description and tag information, the report stated.
EMS responded to the location and transported the victim to Tuomey Hospital for treatment.
A short time later, officers observed the green Lexus, which was registered to 43-year-old Lori Ann McMillan, pulling into the residence of 924 S. Harvin Street.
Police say the occupants of the vehicle were identified as 31-year-old Tommy Lee China and McMillan, who were detained and transported to the Sumter Police Department for questioning.
Further investigation revealed that Anderson executed the plan of taking the victim’s purse, the report stated.
Police say Anderson and China were walking around Piggly Wiggly moments before the incident occurred scoping out a potential victim. As China walked to the getaway car, Anderson attempted to snatch the victim’s purse and assault her.
When the patron ran to the victim’s rescue, Anderson jumped into the vehicle driven by China and occupied by McMillan. All three fled the scene before police arrived.
All three were arrested and transported to the Sumter Lee Regional Detention Center.
Police say while in custody, four pieces of rock like substance that appeared to be crack cocaine were located in China’s pants pocket. He was charged for possession of the crack cocaine.