Police: Two from car chase charged with New Bern purse snatchings

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — A Vanceboro man and his mother who were involved in a car chase last week have been charged in connection to a number of purse snatchings, New Bern police said.

John and Margaret Garris were both charged in connection to the thefts.

Police said they targeted women who were walking in shopping center parking lots.

According to police, they would drive up on the women, try to snatch the purse and drive away.

John Garris was charged in connection to crimes on February 16 and February 18.

His mother, Margaret Garris, was charged in two incidents on February 20.

The cases are still under investigation.


A Vanceboro man was arrested Wednesday after a car chase that ended when a Craven County Sheriff’s investigator collided into the driver’s vehicle.

John Garris, who the Sheriff’s Office said was driving the vehicle, was charged with felony speeding to elude arrest. Garris is also a suspect in a number of robberies and assaults in New Bern, deputies said.

His mother, Margaret Garris, and another passenger, Nathan Orr of New Bern, are also both suspects in a number of robberies and assaults, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators were looking into several breaking and entering cases Wednesday when they identified John and Margaret Garris as suspects.

The two were driving the same vehicle New Bern police had identified as being involved in robberies and assaults at several stores in New Bern.

A Craven County investigator spotted the car on Highway 43 near the intersection with River Road.

The investigator tried to pull the car over but the driver pulled off the highway and drove behind a residence.

The investigator chased the car back onto Highway 43 and toward New Bern.

The car turned into a Speedway convenience store parking lot when the investigator collided with the vehicle to keep it from getting back onto the highway.

The investigation into the break-ins, as well as the assault and robbery cases, is ongoing.

More charges and arrests are pending, the Sheriff’s Office said.

John Garris is being held in the Craven County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

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