Sacto 9-1-1
February 6, 2013
Man convicted of robbing woman, pepper spraying pursuers

A 29-year-old man has been convicted of robbing an elderly woman in a West Sacramento parking lot, then pepper spraying bystanders who intervened.

A Yolo County jury on Monday found Thomas Jones IV guilty of robbing the woman, who was disabled, the afternoon of Oct. 27, 2012, as she went to the Little Caesars Pizza restaurant near West Capitol Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. Jones rode his bicycle up to the woman from behind and grabbed her purse.

The commotion and the woman's screams drew three employees from a nearby business, who chased Jones as he tried to escape with the purse. The employees pursued him across West Capitol Avenue and cornered him in a loading dock. When they attempted to detain Jones, he used a large can of Mace to spray them, officials said.

Jones escaped again but was found minutes later in an empty parking lot with the woman's purse.

He is to be sentenced March 15 by Yolo County Superior Court Judge Janet Gaard.

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