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Three in custody after armed theft, short vehicle chase
Nov 12, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
Officers said they were able to arrest the trio on conspiracy charges based on witness and video accounts.
Three people are in custody after allegedly conspiring to steal a purse at gunpoint in Riverton.
The theft took place at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the Walmart parking lot, where a 16-year-old St. Stephen's boy reportedly drew a gun on a 64-year-old Riverton woman.
"(He) put (the gun) to the victim's head and told her to give him the purse or he would shoot her," Riverton Police Department Capt. Eric Murphy said in a press release.
The woman was uninjured during the incident, and Murphy said she did the right thing when she gave up her purse.
"She did a really good job," he said, adding that the woman gave a detailed description of the event to officers at the scene.
Having obtained the purse, the teen reportedly got into a silver Chevy Monte Carlo that left the parking lot headed south on Federal Boulevard.
Murphy said a witness in the parking lot called police, who pursued the vehicle through town.
"(They) attempted to initiate a traffic stop, which resulted in a brief car chase ... at a rapid speed," Murphy said.
No one was injured, and no damage was reported as a result of the chase.
Murphy said the Monte Carlo continued south, turning west on 17 Mile Road south of Riverton. About five miles later, the car reportedly turned south on a dirt driveway leading to a residence.
"The suspect vehicle stopped, and two males dressed in all black jumped out of the passenger side of the car," Murphy said. "They ran southwest through a wheat-covered field."
Both subjects were apprehended after a foot chase, Murphy said, while a woman who had been driving the Monte Carlo stayed in the car.
The 16-year-old was arrested for aggravated armed robbery, larceny and conspiracy to commit robbery.
His reported running partner, Curtis Oldman, 27, of Lander, was arrested for conspiracy to commit robbery and for probation revocation.
The alleged driver, Tiesha Underwood, 22, of Lander, was arrested for eluding police, reckless endangering, conspiracy, reckless driving and on a warrant for contempt of court.
Murphy said officers were able to arrest the trio for conspiracy based on witness and video accounts.
"There was definitely a plan there between them," Murphy said. "(That's why) we were able to charge all three with conspiracy. ... All three knew the intent."
Surveillance videos reportedly show the suspects talking near the Monte Carlo shortly before the alleged robbery.
"Curtis gets out of the car with the 16-year-old ... then the 16-year-old walks so many feet and then approaches the woman and does it," Murphy said. "Curtis was actually standing kind of a few feet away from this kid, like he was there kind of as backup."
Murphy said the weapon involved in the incident was a BB gun made to look like 9 millimeter handgun. That fact should not affect the charges against the teen, however.
"He still used it for (aggravated armed robbery)," Murphy said. "He wanted everybody to believe it was real."
Murphy did not know whether the suspects had targeted the 64-year-old Riverton woman specifically. He said they were in possession of the purse when they were arrested, and it contained a check for $2,500.
The suspects' court appearance had not been scheduled as of Tuesday morning. Murphy said the Wind River Police Department and Fremont County Sheriff's Office assisted with the incident.