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Man feigned emergencies before stealing victims' possessions, police say

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published February 13, 2014 at 1:08 p.m.

A Benton man has been charged in a pair of crimes where he feigned an emergency before stealing a pair of phones and a purse, authorities say.

Marvin George, 36, was booked into the Saline County jail early Wednesday on charges including two counts of theft of property and one count of unauthorized use of another person’s property to facilitate a crime.

In the first case, the victim reported she was walking Monday morning on the grounds of the Dogwood Lakes Apartment complex, 1907 Arkansas 5, when a man and a woman pulled up in a Hyundai Elantra.

The woman appeared to be in medical distress, police wrote in a news release, and the man asked to use the victim's phone. But when she got close, the man demanded and received the victim's phone and purse before taking off with the items. The victim initially reported the man was armed with a gun, but police believe he didn't actually wield one.

On Tuesday, police say, another victim was leaving the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 17309 Interstate 30 when a man "feigned an emergency and asked to use the phone before taking off with it." The thief left in a gold Hyundai.

George was located "after an extensive search of the area" in a similar vehicle in a parking lot of a business on Military Road.

"It was determined through information and evidence gathered that George was the suspect in both cases and he was subsequently taken into custody without incident," Lt. Kevin Russell said in a statement.

Police say the woman in the first case is believed to be Tony Jeffery, 48, who had been arrested on unrelated charges before the second theft. She faces a theft-of-property charge in the first case.

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