Newton teenager snatches purse

A Newton teenager robbed a woman at gunpoint Saturday for her purse and $10 in consumer items.

Police say Joshua Caleb Powell, 17, of 1107 Fox Chase Drive in Newton, and one at-large suspect robbed a woman at about 10 p.m. Saturday outside the Target in Hickory.

The woman told officers she was walking back to her car from the Target off Catawba Valley Boulevard Southeast when she felt an object that appeared to be a gun in the small of her back, according to a Hickory Police Department incident report.

The robber told the woman “not to move or scream” and give him the purse, said Libby Grigg of the Hickory Police Department. The woman said the suspect then took her purse and a bag of items she had purchased and left the area.

Target surveillance cameras caught the suspects’ vehicle driving away but did not record what either suspect looked like. Officers took a description of the suspects and their vehicle and alerted other police departments in the area.

Later that night, Maiden Police Officer Kelly Younger heard the radio broadcast alert and immediately thought he knew where the car would be, said Maiden Police Lt. Jamey Fletcher.

Younger went to an area where he’d last seen the car and located the vehicle. When the car started to leave, he stopped the vehicle.

Powell was inside, and a Hickory police officer responded to arrest the teenager.

Police charged Powell with robbery with a dangerous weapon. He is in the Catawba County Detention Center with his bond set at $15,000.

Police believe another person helped with the robbery.

The victim and other witnesses describe him as a stocky, black man that was wearing a black sweatshirt with multiple colors splattered on it.

Warrants are out for his arrest, and authorities are still looking for the suspect.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call Hickory Police Department at 828-324-2060.