Local News

Man faces charges in series of purse snatchings

Posted August 13, 2009 11:54 a.m. EDT

— A Durham man arrested in connection with a series of purse snatchings in the Bull City now faces additional charges.

Ronald Dukes, 33, of East Markham Avenue, was already in the Durham County Jail when he was charged Thursday with attempted robbery and assault on a female stemming from an Aug. 7 crime.

Durham police said a woman was getting into a vehicle in the 800 block of West Main Street when a man got out of a red Ford F-150 pickup truck and tried to grab her purse and pull her out of her vehicle. He fled in the truck when the woman's brother came to her rescue.

Dukes was already in jail under a $600,000 bond on a dozen charges, including second-degree kidnapping, common-law robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run, stemming from three other incidents on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8.

In each case, the thief was driving a stolen F-150 and attempted to grab or grabbed women's purses, police said.

In one case, the thief got into the victim's car and drove over her legs in the parking lot of a BP Station on Hillsborough Road before getting back into the red pickup he was driving and fleeing, police said. He later crashed the truck in the parking lot of a nearby restaurant and ran from the scene.

The next day, according to police, a man driving a stolen black F-150 grabbed a purse out of a woman's vehicle while she was stopped at a traffic light at Gregson and West Chapel Hill streets. He fled in the pickup and later struck a power pole on Colonial Street. He ran from the scene.

An officer found Dukes a few minutes later hiding nearby in heavy brush and arrested him.

Dukes was in jail Thursday morning under an increased bond of $615,000.