Witnesses lead to man who allegedly stole girl’s iPhone

By: Sara Kandel | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 7, 2013


ROSEVILLE — A man faces unarmed robbery charges in Roseville after he allegedly stole an iPhone from a young girl, and witnesses followed the getaway car for police.

Aaron Purifoy, a 17-year-old Detroit resident, was arraigned Jan. 1 in 39th District Court in Roseville on one count of unarmed robbery, a 15-year felony.

The incident took place at approximately 4:40 p.m. Dec. 31, when an 11-year-old girl was walking through the east parking lot of Macomb Mall with her mom. The suspect approached from behind, grabbed the phone from her hand and fled on foot to a nearby car.

“The suspect entered the passenger side of a white Chevy Malibu occupied by two others and then left the parking lot,” Deputy Chief Don Glandon of the Roseville Police Department said, adding that the incident was witnessed by multiple people in the parking lot.

“There were two witnesses in a vehicle in the parking lot at the time of the incident,” Glandon said. “They followed the suspect vehicle as it left the parking lot and kept in communication with our dispatch as they followed.”

With assistance from the St. Clair Shores Police Department, the suspect vehicle was pulled over in the 13 Mile Road and Little Mack area.

“Kudos to our two witnesses,” Glandon said. “They were able to provide us with the exact location of the suspect as he fled the scene, making it possible to apprehend him minutes after the incident occurred.”

Police from St. Clair Shores assisted, actually pulling the vehicle over until Roseville police arrived moments later. Only Purifoy was arrested. The other two people in the car were released on-site. Glandon said that there was no evidence they were involved in the incident.

Despite the quick apprehension, police said the girl’s iPhone was not found on Purifoy or in the car.

“We believe it was tossed out the window, and we are trying to locate it using iPhone locater technology,” Glandon said.

Purifoy is being held at the Macomb County jail. Bond was set at $50,000 cash or surety, no 10 percent. At press time, he was being scheduled for a pretrial examination in 39th District Court.