Tanya Christiano, a 29-year-old panhandler, approached women in a Winn-Dixie parking lot in Deland for money for gas, then tied to snatch their money or purse, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
A 29-year-old panhandler accused in a one-woman crime spree landed in jail Monday evening after two shoppers and Winn Dixie workers struggled with the suspect until DeLand police arrived.
Tanya Christiano, who almost ran over a woman with her car in the grocery store parking lot, faces three charges of robbery by sudden snatching and one charge each of burglary, battery, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.
Christiano first encountered a teenager as she got out of her car in the parking lot of the Winn Dixie. She approached a 16-year-old girl and asked for money before snatching a $20 bill from her
The teen grabbed her money back and struggled to keep the suspect from taking her purse before running into the store to get help.
Then store workers ran outside to find Christiano attacking a 63-year-old woman.
That woman told police she was returning to her car when Christiano approached her and asked for $5 for gasoline.
Christiano went into the woman’s car and took her purse before the two struggled over it. The woman was pushed and shoved and suffered scrapes on both knees.
The store manager, Brent Fitzpatrick, helped get the suspect off the woman, but when Christiano tried to leave in her car, she almost ran over the victim. She crashed into a parked car before a store employee took her keys and gave them to Fitzpatrick, who ran into the store with them.
Christiano followed Fitzpatrick inside, pushing and shoving him and ripping his pants as she tried to get the keys out of his pocket. About that time police and deputy sheriffs arrived. A pipe that tested positive for cocaine was found in her purse. Police also charged Christiano with a purse-snatching that occurred in earlier in the day.
Get the details at the Orlando Sentinel.
Photo: Volusia County Jail / September 27, 2011