Two Arrested After String of Purse and Wallet Robberies

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Purses and WalletsMODESTO –

Modesto Police officers have arrested two suspects Thursday involved in a purse-stealing crime spree.

Officers were called to a robbery in progress. When they got there, officers saw employees fighting with Kellia Howard, 26, of Ceres. Officers took Howard into custody for the robbery.

Howard later revealed she wasn’t alone and led officers to a nearby hotel. There, officers found Howard’s father, 44-year-old Augustine Melena, of Ceres.

Officers searched Melena’s vehicle on probation and found several stolen purses and wallets. From this evidence, officers were able to determine the crime spree stretched from Davis to Turlock.

According to police, Howard would sneak into the employee area of businesses and steal purses. Police do not know what role Melena played in the robberies.

Detectives are currently following up on leads to try and find other victims from the items found in Melena’s vehicle.

Howard was arrested for robbery, burglary, violation of probation and six warrants. Melena was booked for two warrants.

Kellia HowardAugustine Melena

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