E-mail about WR shopping center incident leads to arrest

WARNER ROBINS — An e-mail circulating about an incident experienced by a female shopper one afternoon resulted in an arrest Thursday, police said.

The e-mail recounts a woman’s story of being approached in the City Crossing Shopping Center in the 2600 block of Watson Boulevard by a man who said he needed gas money, Warner Robins police Maj. John Wagner said.

But as the woman began to walk away, the man grabbed her shoulder, and she dropped her packages and ran back into an unnamed store, Wagner said.

Wagner said he saw the e-mail Monday after it was forwarded to police by a Robins Air Force Base employee who asked whether there was any truth to the woman’s story.

Although no police report had been filed, officers started talking with store owners and learned that a man had often been in the area asking for money, Wagner said.

Police also tracked down and talked with the woman who sent the e-mail, he said.

Wagner said the shopping center includes Home Depot, the Atlanta Bread Company and several other retail stores.

Police conducted undercover surveillance of the area, and a man matching the suspect’s description was seen Thursday near King Forest and King Richard drives, which is about a block east of the shopping center, Wagner said.

Detective Shane Mann stopped the man, who gave him a false name before fleeing on foot, Wagner said.

Mann chased the suspect for about a block, and he was captured along Brady Drive with the help of other officers, Wagner said. The suspect was identified as Larry Hagan, 42, of Centerville. Hagan was charged with giving a false name and obstruction of an officer. He also was arrested on outstanding warrants of failure to appear and theft by receiving, Wagner said.

Wagner said police believe this is the man that the woman sent the e-mail about.

Police are now looking for a second man who apparently has been loitering in the area and asking people for money, Wagner said.

The man is described as an older white male with “scruffy-looking” facial hair, medium length hair and some sort of eye deformity, Wagner said.

Anyone with information may contact police at 929-1170.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 923-3109, extension 243.