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Homeless man accused of targeting elderly people in parking lots for robbery

Police said a homeless man accused of robbery targeted a pair of elderly people in the parking lots of Gainesville retail establishments.

David Wayne Humphries Jr. was charged with robbery, robbery by snatching and exploitation of an elder person. He was booked Jan. 11 into the Hall County Jail, where he is being held with no bond.

Gainesville Police did not give exact dates and times of when the alleged offenses took place.

Police said Humphries was waiting outside of the E.E. Butler Parkway RaceTrac last month and came up behind a 61-year-old man walking to his car.

“Humphries attempted to take the victim's wallet and a scuffle took place,” Gainesville Police said in a social media post. “Humphries then fled on foot with the victim's reading glasses.”

Police said Humphries also allegedly snatched a purse this month from a 72-year-old woman in the Shallowford Road Walmart parking lot. Patrol units in the area apprehended Humphries.

“Humphries' arrest is a direct result of how hard our officers and investigators work to ensure our community is a safer place,” Gainesville Police said in a social media post. “We know all cases do not have the same ending, but what we do know is our commitment to our community's safety will always be the same. There are other criminals out there similar to this one, who will target those who may seem ‘weaker.’”

Police advised people to reach out to the elderly and “remind them to stay vigilant” as well as keeping an eye for them in public. 

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