During an eight day span in the beginning of January, three women had their purses stolen from them in the parking lots of three different shopping centers in East Mesa. In one incident, the victim was struck by the getaway vehicle as she chased the purse snatcher. In another incident, an 87-year-old woman was knocked to the ground as the suspect stole her purse. Money was taken and stolen credit cards were used at multiple local businesses.
Thankfully, witnesses assisted Mesa PD in describing the vehicle as a black pickup truck and one recorded the license plate. This led to the arrests of 37-year-old Justin Gene Mauk, who was the owner and driver of the getaway vehicle, and 28-year-old Bill Elliot Leatherman, whom we believe was the one snatching the purses.
Mauk was charged with burglary, aggravated robbery and armed robbery.
Leatherman was charged with burglary, aggravated robbery and theft.