Witnesses who saw the crime unfold say two people boxed in a woman about to cross the street at Broadway Plaza Wednesday morning, a youth in his teens approaching the unsuspecting woman from behind and violently wrenching her cell phone from her hand.
“It happened very quickly,” said Josh Rose, who happened to be nearby when the crime occurred at 10:28 a.m. “A lot of people just stood there, they didn’t know what they had seen.”
Rose and others said the youthful thief appeared to have wrenched the woman’s purse from her arm, dashing to a waiting Chevrolet Impala, which had pulled up ahead of the woman as she waited to cross the street with a driver, believed to be a young woman, at the wheel.
“It happened so fast and we really were caught off guard and almost couldn’t figure out what was going on,” said Erin Bohannan, who was leading a new mom’s group at the time. “… I almost took off to go help, before remembering I was in charge of a bunch of moms and babies, young kids. It was definitely scary.”
Bohannan said one of the moms in her group knew the victim and was with her when the police told her they had caught up to the Impala on the freeway. She said a car behind the Impala at the time of the robbery took off after it, delivering license plate information and a description to police.
“That woman is awesome!” Bohannan said of the witness.
In a post to the Walnut Creek Police Facebook page Friday evening, the department posted a picture of an adult suspect in the case, 18-year-old Larhea Frazier of Pittsburg, and additional details:
“An astute citizen who witnessed the crime, called 911 and gave a description and direction of travel.
WCPD patrol officers spotted and stopped the suspect vehicle a short time later. During the traffic stop, officers found the stolen phone and obtained incriminating statements from the suspects who were arrested for robbery.
On 3/24/17, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case and filed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery charges against both the juvenile and adult suspects.”
Both suspects are from Pittsburg, according to police. The juvenile suspect was not identified because of his age.