110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
posted Nov 21, 2012 - 11:02:01am
An attempted purse-snatching in a Deltona Walmart parking lot turned into a confusing melee Monday evening that left the victim, a 69-year-old woman, with a broken finger and her husband with several bumps on his head. The woman who attempted to steal the purse was able to flee the scene with help from her boyfriend, but it didn’t take long for determined Volusia County Sheriff’s investigators to track two suspects down. Tabitha NcNair and Steven Gilb were arrested Tuesday evening in Seminole County. They were both charged with robbery by sudden snatching and aggravated battery on a person over 65.
The attempted robbery happened about 7:41 p.m. at the Walmart located at 101 Howland Blvd. The Osteen couple left the store and were walking to their vehicle when, according to the Sheriff's Office report, suddenly 27-year-old McNair (DOB: 5/15/85) came from behind and grabbed the victim’s purse. However, the victim was determined to hang on to her purse and fought back. A moment later, the victim's husband grabbed McNair and took her to the ground with the intention of holding her there while his wife called 911. Witnesses started gathering around but since they were unsure of what was going on, no one stepped in to assist. Additionally, witnesses noticed that the victim's husband had a gun, even though he never armed himself with it or tried to use it in any way. He had a concealed weapons permit. As the victim's husband held the struggling and screaming McNair on the ground, according to the Sheriff's Office report, McNair's 26-year-old boyfriend Gilb (DOB: 5/30/86) rushed over and unsuccessfully tried to drag the husband off of McNair. Then, the report says, Gilb resorted to hitting the 69-year-old husband on the head repeatedly until McNair was able to break free. The pair then fled in a Nissan Altima.
Deputies and a Sheriff’s Office helicopter searched the area but didn’t find the suspects. Investigators then started gathering information from witnesses, including a detailed description of the suspect’s vehicle. A woman was able to remember several characters from the license plate, but wasn’t sure about some of them or their order. That was enough to get investigators started, though. It took quite a while to search law-enforcement databases for the various possible combinations of license plate numbers as provided by the witness, but a successful match between one particular combination and the vehicle description led investigators to an address in Deltona. It turned out that the owners weren’t the suspects, but they told investigators that some friends had borrowed the car for a trip to the store. But the owners said that the suspects were living at the Royal Inn Motel in Sanford. They also said that the suspects had been upset when they had returned from the store and had claimed that someone had tried to grab McNair’s purse but Gilb had fought the attacker off.
Investigators, with the help of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, found the pair at the motel and discovered that McNair had two arrest warrants for failure to appear. She was taken into custody by Seminole deputies. Volusia investigators then questioned both suspects. Gilb said that he had helped McNair get away from a man who was attacking her, but Gilb claimed he didn’t know why the two were fighting. McNair said that she had only asked the victims for change when she was suddenly attacked. McNair and Gilb were booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Seminole County on $20,000 bond.
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