Two arrested for stealing purses, using stolen credit card
COLUMBIA - Police arrested two men on Saturday in connection with a series of purse thefts at different parks around Columbia.
Officers got reports of four purse thefts throughout the day at Cosmo Park, Twin Lakes Park and Jay Dix Station. In each case, someone had smashed a vehicle window and taken a purse from inside. Police also learned about a fifth purse theft, this time from an unlocked vehicle at the Gap Outlet on Stadium Boulevard.
Shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, police went to the Walmart on Grindstone Parkway after someone allegedly tried to use a credit card from one of the stolen purses. About an hour later, they learned someone bought items at the Walmart on West Broadway with a credit card from another of the stolen purses.
A short time after that, police said the suspects - Josephus Howard and Courtney Wright - came back to the Grindstone Walmart. Officers searched their vehicle and found a purse with credit cards belonging to three of the victims. They also found a hotel key to a room at the Hilton Inn on Vandiver Drive, where officers recovered another stolen purse.
Police arrested Howard and Wright on suspicion of stealing, property damage and fraudulent use of a credit device.