Facebook Followers Help Catch Alleged Purse Snatchers In Mt. Juliet

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Facebook Followers Help Catch Alleged Purse Snatchers In Mt. Juliet

CREATED May 2, 2014
by Chris Cannon

MT. JULIET, Tenn. - A woman was loading groceries into her car Thursday night when police say two men stole her purse. Followers on a community web page led officers to the alleged thieves.

The 65-year-old woman left her purse unattended in her shopping cart in the parking lot of the Publix store on Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet.

Police said the suspects pulled right up to her car.

"One of the suspects jumped out of the car and grabbed the purse from the buggy," explained Sgt. Tyler Chandler.

In just seconds, the two men took off in an older model white Mustang and headed out onto Lebanon Road.

"Officers went out to the scene as quickly as possible to try and find this Mustang that fled the scene, and it was not located," Sgt. Tyler said.

There were several witnesses to the parking lot robbery and one of them quickly posted a thread about the robbery on a blog called "Hip Mt. Juliet."

"Which is on Facebook, it's an open group for our community, for Mt. Juliet, and someone posted a vehicle description on there, and what happened," according to Sgt. Chandler.

Minutes later, there were posts on that thread, tracking the suspect vehicle, giving detailed information that police quickly noticed and followed to a home on Whitnell Drive where officers discovered a white Mustang that had been covered with a tarp.

"One of the suspects actually removed the tarp, willingly from the Mustang, and revealed the suspect vehicle. The tag number matched, it was the exact same car," said Sgt. Chandler.

Within three hours of the robbery, officers arrested Jonathan Boyd, 29, of Madison, who was charged with charged with Theft of Property and Forgery. Around midnight, they also arrested Jacob Gerg, 29, of Mt. Juliet, who was charged with Accessory After the Fact and Criminal Responsibility.

Boyd was also wanted out of Metro-Nashville for a felony probation violation, where the original charge was Attempted 2nd Degree Murder.

Officers retrieved the victim's purse. Everything was returned to her, except her debit card.

Email: ccannon@newschannel5.com