News headline from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department:
At around 1:40 p.m. on June 5th, officers from the Temecula Police Department responded to a report of a strong arm robbery in the parking lot of Costco, located on Ynez Road in Temecula. The incident occurred as the victim was walking in the parking lot approaching the store.
Officers determined that the female victim arrived at Costco, obtained an empty shopping cart, placed her purse in the cart and began walking toward the store. As the victim was approaching the store, the male suspect, later identified as James Patrick Justin O’Beirne (pictured right), 31, of Winchester, approached the victim and asked to use her cell phone, stating the battery was dead on his phone. The victim agreed and handed her phone to O’Beirne.
After appearing to make a call, O’Beirne acted as if he was handing the phone back to the woman and intentionally dropped the phone on the ground. O’Beirne abruptly grabbed the victim’s purse from the shopping cart and and attempted to flee. The victim reached out and grabbed her purse, causing the contents to spill onto the ground.
As the contents hit the ground, O’Beirne stopped and the two briefly struggled over the victim’s wallet, which had dropped onto the ground. O’Beirne was unable to wrestle the wallet away from the victim.
O’Beirne ran to a waiting vehicle and fled with only the victim’s purse and an unknown amount of money. A witness followed O’Beirne, and his female passenger, as they exited the parking lot. The witness was able to obtain the license plate number of their vehicle.
Follow-up investigation led officers to an address in the unincorporated area of Winchester. The suspect was located and detained at the residence in the 32900 block of Taylor Street.
During the course of the investigation, the victim’s purse was located in a vacant field in the area of Leon Road and Scott Road.
During the investigation, it was determined the female passenger was unaware of O’Beirne’s plans and not involved in the commission of the robbery.
O’Beirne was booked into the Southwest Detention Center on one count of strong arm robbery.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Temecula Police Department at 951-696-3000.
Filed under Headline
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
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