Springfield Kroger Robbery: Man arrested in vehicle theft has criminal past

Springfield Kroger Robbery: Man arrested in vehicle theft has criminal past

Springfield police are crediting media coverage and the public for their help in arresting a suspect in a robbery of a 73-year-old woman in a Kroger parking lot.

Brandon Russell, 35, was arrested and booked into the Clark County Jail Friday morning.

MORE: UPDATE: 73-year-old Springfield woman’s car found after man begging for money stole it at Kroger

“When the public gets involved and they provide information to the police, it really helps us do our jobs and it makes things work a lot faster for us,” Springfield Police Division Detective Ronald Jordan said. “I think it shows people that could be their grandmother, their mother and I don’t think people like to hear that type of stuff.”

Police were called to Kroger on Bechtle Avenue on Nov. 20 at around 4 p.m where they met the 73-year-old woman who said she was approached by a man begging for $2. The woman said she believes the same man then pushed her to the ground and stole her dark gray 2012 Toyota Camry with everything inside.

Along with the car, the suspect stole hundreds of dollars worth of valuables from the woman, the report says. Those items include a purse, six to seven credit or debit cards, about $200, a checkbook, her iPhone and her groceries.

The man then entered the vehicle and drove off, according to a police report. The car was found in Springfield on Nov. 21. — but no sign of a suspect.

READ: Clark County mom wins fight for tougher laws after daughter nearly died

Police were alerted that one of the Visa cards had been used to make a purchase of about $200 at Rite Aid on South Limestone Street.

The credit card usage at the convenient store played a big role in Russel’s capture.

“I got the surveillance video and brought it in and we passed it along to the media and that information was put out,” Jordan said. “When I came in Monday morning this week there were quite a few calls in reference to the individual who people thought it was.”

The U.S. Marshals made the arrest Friday at a home in Springfield. Jordan said Russell was arrested without a fight. When he was interviewed by Jordan, he was cooperative.

“He confessed to taking her car and being out there at Kroger the day this happened,” Jordan said.

Russell was booked into the jail on a robbery charge as well as outstanding warrants.

Russell was released from prison just over a month ago — serving a sentence for drug possession. He was wanted for violating his parole.

An arrest warrant was also issued for Russell on a theft charge from Nov. 14 out of Clark County. According to court documents, he allegedly stole a heater from Ace Handyman on Burnett Road.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning.

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