Serial purse snatcher drag woman through Walmart parking lot, triggering wild police chase

Caught on Camera

POSTED: Friday, November 2, 2012 - 10:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, November 2, 2012 - 10:04pm

Georgia police have apprehended two suspects who dragged a 51-year-old Oxford woman with their car in a purse snatching that triggered a high-speed chase.

Investigators say the pair may be part of a multi-state crime spree. Robert Joseph Chastain, 29, of Harrisville, Missouri and Kristin J. Callaway, 25, of East Lynn, Missouri are charged with Robbery and Aggravated Assault. Chastain also faces charges of Failure to Stop, Reckless Driving and Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Police.

Police said their crime spree ended after a high speed chase that followed a purse snatching in the parking lot of a Covington Walmart.

"We've learned that these two individuals have been involved in multiple cases just like the one here," said Captain Ken Malcolm.

The two Missouri residents tried to snatch the Oxford woman's purse as they drove by her in the parking lot. As they drove by, Callaway leaned out of the car and snatched the purse. The woman would not let go, according to Captain Malcolm.

"She became entangled in the purse and was drug across the parking lot approximately 300 yards," he said.

Malcolm said the woman is home after a short stay in the hospital, but she's in extreme pain. He said she suffered multiple abrasions over a good portion of her body.

After the suspects fled the Walmart parking lot a Covington police officer spotted their vehicle getting onto I-20. A 40 mile chase ensued into the city of Atlanta, with speeds reaching as high as 127 miles per hour. At one point the chase almost turned into tragedy for an unsuspecting motorist. A car swerved to avoid being hit by the suspect vehicle and went into a slide right in front of a semi tractor trailer. 

"It's amazing that the truck was able to stop and keep from hitting that car," Malcolm said.

Police said the car the suspects were driving was stolen in Missouri and had stolen Wisconsin plates.

Malcolm said Chastain told police they were on their way to Alabama from Georgia.  

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