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Woman jailed in purse-theft case



A man’s act of kindness ended up in a trip to jail early Sunday for the woman he tried to help, police said.

Fredericksburg police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said a 23-year-old city woman was sitting in a booth in the bar area of Castiglia’s Italian Restaurant on William Street about 11:50 p.m. Saturday when she realized her purse was missing.

While she was looking for the purse, a man walked by with the purse in his hand. He called out to another woman and said, “hey, you left this in the restroom.”

The woman who was missing the purse jumped up and grabbed it from the man, Bledsoe said, but the purse was empty. So she followed the other woman outside the restaurant and argued with her about the purse.

The suspect had just gotten into a vehicle with another woman when police responded to a call regarding the disturbance. The victim pointed to the car and said, “that’s the girl who stole my purse.”

Officers detained the suspect, who gave them permission to search her, Bledsoe said. The victim’s credit card were found inside her clothing, along with other miscellaneous items that had been in the purse. The victim’s cell phone was later found inside the restroom trashcan.

Ashley Christel Henry, 21, of Spotsylvania was charged with three felony offenses, grand larceny and two counts of possessing a stolen credit card. She was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under a $3,500 bond.

It was not immediately clear who the man was who found the purse or why he’d been in the women’s bathroom.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404