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2 men in custody after woman's purse stolen at Wawa in Stuart

Adrian Perez-Rocha and Bryam Cardenas Moreno face multiple charges
Posted at 7:55 PM, Apr 26, 2024

STUART, Fla. — Two men are in custody after a woman's purse was stolen Thursday at a convenience store in Martin County.

Stuart police said the theft occurred at a Wawa at 2401 S. Kanner Highway.

When officers arrived at the store, they interviewed the victim and learned that two men forcibly stole the victim's purse and fled in an older-model Toyota.

Police said the description of the suspects and the vehicle were broadcast across the county.

A Martin County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit found the suspects' vehicle north on Interstate 95 near Kanner Highway.

Following a short vehicle pursuit, police said the suspects, identified as Adrian Perez-Rocha, 39, of Orlando and Bryam Cardenas Moreno, 27, of Cicero, Illinois, were stopped and arrested.

Officers said they found evidence in the vehicle that linked the suspects to the crime.

The men face charges of robbery, burglary of a vehicle, grand theft and tampering with evidence. Moreno faces an additional charge of fleeing and eluding.

Detectives said the suspects don't have any ties to Martin County and targeted the victim, who had recently visited a local bank.

"Good communication, teamwork with the Martin County Sheriff's Office, and an eagle-eyed deputy led to the swift apprehension of these traveling criminals," Stuart police said in a written statement.

Both suspects are being held at the Martin County jail.

Stuart residents told WPTV reporter Cassandra Garcia they were surprised by the theft.

"I think it's unusual," resident Richard Dezinno said. "I rarely ever feel threatened in Stuart. You always feel safe because it's a small city."

"I'm going to be a lot more careful when I go to the ATM," Judith Dezinno said.