2 Arrested in Mesa purse snatchings

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Justin Gene Mauk (left) and Bill Elliot Leatherman By Jennifer Thomas Justin Gene Mauk (left) and Bill Elliot Leatherman By Jennifer Thomas
Justin Gene Mauk By Jennifer Thomas Justin Gene Mauk By Jennifer Thomas
Bill Elliot Leatherman By Jennifer Thomas Bill Elliot Leatherman By Jennifer Thomas

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.