2 arrested in Mesa purse snatchings

Justin Gene Mauk (left) and Bill Elliot Leatherman

Credit: Mesa Police Department

Justin Gene Mauk (left) and Bill Elliot Leatherman

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by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 3 at 10:29 AM

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police arrested two men accused of snatching purses in Mesa.

Investigators caught up with Justin Gene Mauk, 37, and Bill Elliot Leatherman, 28, after a witness managed to get a license plate of the getaway vehicle described as a black pickup truck.

Police said three women had their purses stolen in the parking lots of three different shopping centers in east Mesa. Money was taken and stolen credit cards were used at several local businesses.

The thefts occurred over an eight-day span in the beginning of January.

In one incident, the victim was hit by the getaway vehicle as she chased the purse snatcher.

In another, an 87-year-old woman was knocked to the ground as the suspect stole her purse.

Police said Mauk was the owner and driver of the getaway vehicle. Police believe Leatherman was the one snatching the purses.

Mauk faces charges of burglary, aggravated robbery and armed robbery.

Leatherman faces burglary, aggravated robbery and theft charges.

 

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