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Shoes a target of thieves in No. Virginia

The juvenile theft crime of choice in Manassas, Virginia, these days appears to be the pilfering of running shoes. Police in Manassas have received numerous reports recently of teenagers meeting up with people who want to sell shoes, finishing the transaction by running off with them instead of paying for them.

In one case, a 17-year-old boy said he met with two people, both about his age, whom he thought were going to buy his running shoes, which were worth $220, according to police. Instead, the so-called buyers grabbed the shoes that were inside the seller's car and ran away.

Next, a Manassas man reported that he advertised online to sell his running shoes worth about $400. When he met the two teens at an agreed location, one of them asked to try on the shoes. He did, and he and his alleged accomplice ran off, according to police.

Then, a few days later, a 19-year-old Arlington, Virginia, man arranged a meeting with a buyer around 9 p.m. to sell his $170 pair of shoes. A 16-year-old boy from Manassas and four others showed up, with one of them asking to try on the shoes. When the seller refused, one of the buyers punched the seller in the face and took the shoes, still in the box, running off.

One of the shoes fell out of the box. Police arrested a 16-year-old Manassas boy and charged him with the robbery and attack on the victim. The others with him were not yet apprehended. No information was available about pending court appearances.

Police did not reveal whether they believe the thefts were related to each other, and they asked the community to offer information by calling their Crime Solvers number.

In each case, police reported there was more than one person present at the time the shoes were stolen. People who are present at the time of the crime can be implicated in the crime, even if they did not know a theft would occur.

Source: News & Messenger, "Manassas police charge teen, seek others in running shoe thefts," David Pierce, Aug. 29, 2012

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