LINDEN — After four months of "exhausting" investigation, police in this city say they have arrested and charged two 16-year-olds in a series of three purse snatchings that happened within a half hour's time on a summer morning last year.

In a release Wednesday, Linden police said the two teens, identified as Newark residents, are in custody at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center on "unrelated charges," which were not specified, but that each was charged with three counts of second-degree robbery for these incidents.

Just before 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2021, officers responded to North Wood Avenue, where they said a 31-year-old woman told them the suspects had come up from behind and tried to take her purse off her shoulder.

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The suspects fled as passing drivers stopped to help, police said.

Shortly thereafter, a 69-year-old woman told officers she had been knocked to the ground on Maple Avenue as her purse was stolen.

And at about 9:55 a.m., at the intersection of Maple and Zeigler avenues, a 23-year-old woman told police that suspects had approached from behind and taken her purse as well.

"Violent crime like this will never be tolerated in our community, and as this case demonstrates, we will continue to pursue these offenders as far as the evidence allows," Police Chief David Hart said in the release.

The juveniles' names were not released, due to their ages.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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