Good Samaritans foil pair of robbers

April 13, 2011 • Local News

Police say two would be robbers, one of whom was yielding a knife, didn’t take into account one important factor when [auth] they attempted to steal the purse of a women in her 50s Monday evening — two observant good Samaritans.

Ray Vasquez, 25, and Matthew Villarrell, 21, were both charged with felonies following a melee outside of the Bank of America building around 7:45 p.m., police said.

The thieves may have been on the lookout for police, but in their attempted getaway they failed to take into consideration two citizens flagged down by the distressed victim.

“Thanks to them we’ve been able to lock up two bad guys,” said Travis Holley, a Roswell Police Department spokesman, who declined to immediately identify the two citizens.

Holley described how the alleged crime duo waited for a woman withdrawing money out of an ATM to get back into her vehicle, before Vasquez smashed her car window and demanded her cash while holding a knife.

He stole the woman’s purse and the pair fled in a pickup truck, but were thwarted when the vehicle failed to clear a three to four feet embankment on the corner of the bank’s parking lot.

“They tried to go over (a) retaining wall,” said Holley, describing how the truck got stuck and the two men fled on foot in opposite directions. Not far behind them were two separate individuals giving chase.

One of the men chased one of the alleged thieves around City Hall. Police said the other thif ran behind the U.S. Postal Service building and eventually tripped and fell.

“(One) passerby ordered him to stay on the ground,” said Holley, adding that the good Samaritan then jumped on top of the man and held him until police arrived.

When the good Samaritan chasing the robbers around City Hall lost sight of the mugger, he eventually caught back up with him at the pickup truck, police said.

Holley described that by that time, a small white car had arrived and tied a rope to the truck in an attempt to pull it off the embankment.

This attempt of fleeing was also foiled, he said. “It was an attempt to pull the pickup off the wall and the rope broke,” Holley said. The driver of the white car sped away in the vehicle and the mugger again attempted to flee on foot, but by this time police arrived and the good Samaritan led police directly to the man, he said.

“We surely don’t encourage citizens (to get involved), but in this case we certainly have to commend them,” Holley said.

“On behalf of the Roswell Police Department and the citizens of Roswell, thank you very much.” Holley added that the RPD plans to hold a ceremony for the two citizens in the near future and present them with some sort of recognition.

Vasquez was charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Villarrell was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

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One Response to Good Samaritans foil pair of robbers

  1. murphy says:

    Great job, Good Samaritans, whoever you are!

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