Police: Thief Demands $200, Pills In Exchange For Purse’s Return

PAHOKEE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – One woman’s stolen purse almost cost her $200 and prescription medication just to have it home for the holidays.

Michael Rawls, a 29-year-old Pahokee resident, was arrested last week after he stole a woman’s purse and demanded a $200 ransom and prescription pills in exchange for the purse’s return.

Tiffany Simpson-Nijera, a Clewiston resident, told the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office that Rawls had stolen it. She would receive a text message from Rawls, saying that he would give it back for a $100 ransom, according to a probable cause affidavit. When Rawls didn’t hear from Simpson-Nijera, he called her and told her to pay $200 and include her prescription pills.

After this, Simpson-Nijera told police that she had agreed to meet with Rawls. That prompted the police to get involved. When the two met for the exchange, police set up a perimeter around the area, according to the affidavit. Rawls would be arrested as soon as they saw him hand the purse to Simpson-Nijera.

Rawls has been charged with dealing in stolen property and unlawful use of two-way communications. Palm Beach County Jail records indicate that Rawls posted a $5,010 bond and was released on Christmas morning.

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