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Pair in custody in suspected string of Sonoma County purse snatchings

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 7:57 a.m.

A man suspected of snatching at least six purses in Sonoma County was in custody Tuesday and remained under investigation on suspicion of additional thefts, Sonoma County sheriff's officials said.

Joshua Lenzi, 25, who has addresses in Santa Rosa and Mill Valley, was being held on $15,000 bail at the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of three counts of commercial burglary, two counts of grand theft, possession of stolen property, check forgery and identity theft, Sgt. Mike Raasch said.

Lenzi was first identified after he used his California ID card to cash a forged check that had been stolen along with a purse at an April 20 fundraising event at the Hanna Boys Center, Raasch said.

A credit card from the purse was used at a gas station in Vallejo and the attempt to cash a check was in Concord, Raasch said.

The next day, Lenzi is suspected of taking a woman's purse from her shopping cart at a Petaluma Lucky grocery store after she'd stepped away, Raasch said.

On April 23, police were alerted to three purses found in Comcast's parking lot. The purses were identified as those taken from Lucky, the Hanna Boys Center and an American Canyon Walmart, Raasch said.

Lenzi was arrested Friday after he grabbed a woman's purse at the Petaluma Lucky and ran, only to be tackled by a bystander, Raasch said.

Authorities arrested Lenzi's girlfriend Courtney Silliman, 31, of Vallejo on Monday when she attended Lenzi's first court appearance, Raasch said. She's suspected of being involved in at least two of the thefts, he said.

Lenzi is also under investigation for two additional purse thefts in Santa Rosa.

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