Pair arrested for Innsbrook-area purse snatchings

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Two people stand accused of going on a spending spree with stolen purses.

Rebecca Wilken, 25, of Queensmere Place, and William Thirion, 28, of Wood Thrush Circle, face several charges between them, including larceny and fraud.

It all began to unravel at the Walgreen's in the 5800 block of W. Broad Street, and from there, officers discovered a plot to target drunk women at area bars.

It was Sunday morning, about 1:00 a.m., a very unusual time to buy $500 worth of gift cards. But that's what Henrico Police say Wilken and Thirion were doing. People at the store got suspicious, and they called police who claim they discovered several bags of merchandise and purses in Wilken's car.

Police say Wilken later admitted that she and Thirion went to the Beach House, located in Innsbrook, along with other local bars targeting women who appeared to be intoxicated.

Papers on file at the courthouse indicate Wilken and Thirion were successful in stealing the  purses of four women and racked up charges of at least $200, the minimum benchmark for a felony.

It makes Innsbrook-area customers like Jacqueline Fisher very angry.

"I think it's disgusting. We work hard for our monies and we buy nice purses, and we don't want anybody taking our things. Heck no!" Fisher said.

This isn't the first time Innsbrook-area bars have heard about purse-snatchings. Bar owners, including James Doughtie, talk to each other using a radio hookup in case they see suspicious activity.

"Somebody want to enjoy themselves. You know, they don't want to go through all the headaches that the world is offering right now," said Doughtie, who owns Sharky's.

Now, the headaches belong to Wilken and Thirion, who face a total of 18 charges.

Neither Wilken nor Thirion could be reached for comment on the case, but both of them will be back in court in July.

Police say the pair would go after purses that were left hanging on seats. To prevent this kind of crime, police say women should hold onto their purses, or leave them in the car.

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