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Spotsylvania man charged in daylight smash-and-grab theft
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Spotsylvania man charged in daylight smash-and-grab theft

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A Spotsylvania County man was arrested Wednesday following a brazen broad daylight theft in which authorities said someone broke into a woman’s car and stole her purse.

The incident took place about 10:45 a.m. outside the Chili’s restaurant near the Spotsylvania Towne Center, Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Capt. Liz Scott said. Witnesses reported that a man wearing camouflage pants, sneakers and a gray hoodie used what appeared to be a pipe and broke a vehicle window.

The suspect then grabbed a purse that had been left in the vehicle. The victim, one of several people who saw the theft in progress, chased the suspect, but lost sight of him.

A short time later, Deputy B. Seabridge saw a man matching the suspect’s description behind a nearby Starbucks. The man was taken into custody without incident.

The victim’s purse was recovered behind a local business, Scott said. Some items were missing from the purse.

Anthony Joseph Welch, 24, was charged with grand larceny, misdemeanor larceny and destruction of property. He was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

Welch’s criminal record includes multiple theft-related convictions, court records show. He had just been released from jail on Aug. 14 after serving time for convictions earlier this year of felony shoplifting in Fredericksburg and possession of illegal drugs in Spotsylvania. He has suspended time on both of those convictions that could be reinstated at a later date.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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