Witnesses lead to arrest of suspected purse snatchers in Sumter

Lavadijah Anderson

SUMTER, SC (WACH)- A crowd of dilligent witnesses helped foil a trio of robbers.

According to Sumter Police, on Tuesday afternoon, after a woman was robbed of her purse, witnesses told police the robbers the direction in which the accused robbers drove away from the scene. One bystander even jumped in to help the victim.

Sumter officers were sent to the Piggly Wiggly parking lot located on Broad Street in reference to a possible purse snatching that just occurred. Upon arrival, Officers spoke with a 28 year old victim who said she was assaulted by a woman who was trying to steal her purse. The victim said as she walked to her car, a woman approached her from behind and grabbed her purse. The victim, while attempting to hold on to the purse, was knocked to the ground by the subject. The subject punched and kicked the victim repeatedly about her head and body. A patron witnessing the incident ran to assist the victim and attempted to stop the suspect from assaulting the victim. Upon the citizenâ??s approach, the suspect fled the area, and jumped into a green Lexus. The vehicle description and tag number was provided tolaw enforcement by witnesses on scene and given to responding officers. EMS responded to Piggly Wiggly and transported the victim to Tuomey Hospital for treatment.

A short while later, officers saw the Lexus, registered to Lori Ann McMillan China pulling into a residence on S. Harvin Street. The occupants of the vehicle, identified as Tommy Lee China and Lori Ann McMillan China were taken to the Sumter Police Department for questioning.

Further investigation shows that the female that executed the plan of taking the victimâ??s purse was Lavadijah Anderson,21. Police say Anderson and Tommy Lee China were walking around Piggly Wiggly moments before the incident scoping out a potential victim. As China walked to the suspect vehicle, Anderson snatched on the victimâ??s purse and began to assault the victim. When the patron ran to the victimâ??s rescue, Anderson jumped into the vehicle driven by China and occupied by Lori Ann McMillan China. All three fled the area moments before law enforcement arrived.