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Richard Gerald Kimpel III, 19, of the 2200 block of Stone Pine Drive, is charged with a third-degree felony count of robbery.
At about 7 p.m. on Monday, March 26, Las Cruces police were dispatched to the report of a strong-arm robbery that occurred outside the Walgreens store at 1256 El Paseo Rd. Officers learned that a man wearing a hoodie and fancy gold watch was seen loitering outside the store, near a Red Box video rental kiosk.
Witnesses told police they saw the man run toward a woman, who had just exited the store, and forcefully rip the purse away from her. The man then boarded a gray Mitsubishi Eclipse which fled the area heading west on Idaho Avenue toward Main Street.
A Las Cruces police officer spotted the Mitsubishi Eclipse heading south on Main Street and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Kimpel was identified as the vehicle’s driver.
Investigators learned that Kimpel asked a friend, a 15-year-old girl, to drive his vehicle to an area near the Walgreens and wait for him while he, ostensibly, went into the store to use the restroom. After a short time, Kimpel returned to the vehicle, jumped into the passenger seat and ordered the girl to drive off. The girl told police she noticed Kimpel was carrying a purse when he returned to the car.
The girl indicated to investigators that she got into an argument with Kimpel and pulled over. At that point, Kimpel got behind the wheel and continued driving until the vehicle was pulled over by the responding LCPD officer.
Investigators subsequently recovered the 60-year-old woman’s purse and its belongings inside Kimpel’s vehicle. Kimpel was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond. Police are continuing their investigation and charges against the girl are possible.