Deputies in Hernando County have arrested a pair of suspects in a string of purse-snatchings that have occurred over the past three months at the Wal-Mart in Spring Hill.
Joshua McWilliams and Johnathan Becude are facing a variety of charges including grand theft and burglary. They are being held without bond at the Hernando County Jail.
Additional charges are expected.
According to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report McWilliams, 21, and Becude, 26, may be responsible for similar crimes in Pasco County.
Investigators say the suspects devised a plan to steal handbags from unsuspecting woman leaving the store. The report states McWilliams and Becude drove to the Spring Hill Wal-Mart on December 15th, 2012 where they allegedly stole the purse of a woman who had just unloaded her purchases into her vehicle.
A white male was seen fleeing the scene and jumping into the passenger seat of a white car that quickly drove away. Witnesses were unable to get the vehicle's tag number.
Deputies were dispatched to the Wal-Mart again on January 2nd and January 3rd for similar crimes, women who had their handbags taken from their vehicles after unloading groceries.
The suspect and vehicle description given by witnesses matched those from the December 15th incident.
A preliminary investigation revealed that within 30 minutes of each crime, two suspects – late identified as McWilliams and Becude – were captured on surveillance video making purchases with stolen credit cards.
After comparing notes with investigators in Pasco County the two law enforcement agencies arrested the pair.
Both suspects have prior brushes with law enforcement.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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