A suspect in Franklin was spotted and arrested only moments after assaulting and robbing a shopper outside of her car in a Walmart parking lot Thursday night.
Franklin Police Department officials said the suspect pulled up behind the victim, who was in the process of unlocking her door and getting into her car, shortly before 6 p.m. The suspect grabbed the woman’s purse, and when the victim tried hanging onto it, the suspect repeatedly punched her in the face and head before finally getting away with the purse.
After a description of the suspect and getaway car was broadcast over a police radio, a nearby Franklin police officer pulled over and arrested 25-year-old Kerrigan Larkins on Mallory Lane. The victim’s belongings were found in Larkins’s vehicle, along with an acquaintance’s three young children, ages 3, 3 and 1, who were all unrestrained and apparently in the vehicle during the robbery and assault.
Larkins, a convicted felon, was charged with aggravated robbery, felony theft, three counts of reckless endangerment, violation of the child restraint law and violation of the registration law. She remained jailed Friday on a $150,000 bond set by the Magistrate. The children in Larkins’s vehicle were later released to their mother.
FPD issues warning about auto burglaries
The Franklin Police Department has issued a warning after multiple vehicle smash and grabs in the city.
Purses and other visible valuables are the recurring target of thieves on the lookout for their next victim at area parks, fitness centers and daycares. According to FPD, these three places have one thing in common: many women leave their purses behind when visiting them.
The most recent incident happened Thursday morning at Franklin’s Aspen Grove Park, where a woman returned to her car to find her window shattered and purse gone. The auto burglary happened in less than five minutes after the woman got out of her car, indicating that the thieves were probably watching for women getting out of their vehicles and walking away without a purse. There have been at least eight of these types of cases in Franklin so far in January, according to FPD.
Franklin police officials said you can reduce the chances of something like this happening to you by taking your purse and other valuables with you when getting out of your car. If that’s not possible, stow your valuables out of sight before arriving at your destination.
Officers are conducting extra patrols in area parking lots, and the department is asking for the public’s help to stop these thieves in their tracks by not leaving valuables visible and unattended, and by reporting anyone you think is suspicious by calling FPD immediately at (615) 794-2513.