Fired Capitol Police officer breaks silence

Women used scissors to steal woman’s purse outside BJ’s Wholesale Club, police say

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Two women were arrested and charged in a robbery that happened outside BJ's Wholesale Club
in the West End.

"The victim reported that she was approached by a female in the parking lot who displayed scissors and demanded her purse," Henrico Police spokesman Lt. Chris Eley said. "The suspect then used the scissors to cut the strap and fled with the victim’s purse."

Police believe the victim was targeted. They said she was likely watched closely by the suspects as she shopped inside of the store, and when she paid cash for her items.

Police identified the suspects as 29-year-old Joanna Marie Flores and 27-year-old Desirree Milagros Benitez.

Eley said the women left the parking lot in a distinct gray vehicle with pink rims; that's how police were able to catch up with them.

The suspects and the victim had no previous relationship, he added.

Both women were charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, according to police.

"In this economy, and the way the world is going today, anything is possible," said William Hughes. "Man, it is just getting desperately wicked now."

Shoppers who were shocked by daylight crime said they'll be more vigilant whenever they go out.

"I have gone to taking a smaller purse, basically it's something that I can wrap around my neck and keep my hand on it," said shopper Becky Whitley.  "Basically, I have my drivers license, my credit card in it, and that's all I take in with me."

The crime was reported May 18 in the parking lot along the 1300 block of Starling Drive in Henrico County.

Anyone with additional information about this crime can submit a news tip here.

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