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Men charged in purse theft crime spree at Jacksonville gas stations

Diaontray Cornell, Jermorris Dukes
Diaontray Cornell, Jermorris Dukes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two men have been charged in a crime spree in which Jacksonville police said purses were stolen out of unlocked cars at gas stations.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the purses were stolen from cars at gas stations along Philips Highway, Old St. Augustine Road and Gate Parkway. In a couple of cases, police said, the thefts took place while the victim was gassing up and unaware.

Surveillance video from one of the gas stations shows a car pull alongside the victim’s car. A man gets out of the car, keeping low to the ground, opening the passenger side door and reaching in for the purse.

All four thefts happened Jan. 2. While JSO was talking to one of the victims, police said she got an alert that someone was using her stolen credit cards at the Avenues Mall.

Officers said they went to the mall, and came upon the two men exiting with $1,300 in fraudulent purchases.

Inside their car, police said, investigators found more merchandise and two handguns. JSO says the two men also stole purses in St Johns County, and believe there are even more victims.

Jermorris Dukes and Diaontray Cornell were held in the Duval County jail on more than $200,000 bond.