CRIME

Md. women accused of kidnapping, robbing elderly man and teenage boy

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WALDORF, Md. (WJLA) - It was a short-lived crime spree, but for one 70-year-old man and one teenage boy - it was long enough.

Lila Juanita Smith and Tonya Renae Riffe. (Photo: CCSO)

Two Waldorf women have been arrested for a string of kidnappings and robberies in the Charles County area.

The Charles County Sheriff's Office said Tonya Renae Riffe, 34 and Lila Juanita Smith, 27 committed two brief kidnappings and two robberies in the past few days.

Deputies said on Wednesday, April 23 at 1 p.m., Riffe approached a 70-year-old man - whose identity ABC7 is protecting - near his car in the parking lot of the Food Lion grocery store at 100 Drury Dr. in La Plata.

The woman reportedly placed what she said was a knife at his back and told the victim to get into his car or she would harm him.

"It was disbelief, really," the man told ABC7. "I really thought it was someone who knew me and was playing a joke on me, really."

Nevertheless, to be safe, the man complied.

"I just tried to stay as calm as possible through the incident and deliver what they were demanding," he said.

Riff ordered the victim to drive a short distance, where they stopped and picked up Smith. The women then ordered the man to drive to a nearby bank, presumably to force him to withdraw money for them, but the man reportedly claimed he did not use a bank, so they demanded to be dropped off in a neighborhood in Waldorf.

"They backed down and never asked for anything else," he said.

The pair then allegedly struck again just three days later - this time, accosting a 17-year-old boy as he walked out of the Westlake Dash-In gas station convenience story this past Saturday at around 5:30 a.m.

As he approached his car near the gas pumps, he noticed a white female - Riffe - standing near the driver’s side. The female displayed a gun and told the victim to get in the car. He complied.

Much like the first incident, the suspect then ordered the victim to drive a short distance, where they picked up Smith. Both women demanded the victim drive to a nearby ATM.

The victim was reportedly not able to get money from the ATM, so the two women took the money from his wallet. They got out of the car at a nearby business.

The Charles County Sheriff's Office says, even though no one got hurt during the two unusual crimes, it's a very serious matter.

"I think when somebody points a gun at you or implies they have a knife in your back and you feel something, and you don't know who they are, and you realize its no joke - that's pretty serious, and it's something you're gonna hold onto for the rest of your life," Sheriff Rex Coffee told ABC7. "Nobody should be subjected to that."

That wasn't the end of the women's alleged crime spree, however.

The next day, on Sunday at about 4 a.m., officers responded to a drug store on Leonardtown Road in Waldorf for a shoplifting in progress.

When officers arrived, they spotted the suspects’ car in the parking lot. A computer check revealed the car was stolen.

Upon making contact with the suspects, officers noted they matched the description of the two women believed to be responsible for the earlier abductions and robberies, and arrested the two women.

Upon further investigation, detectives served a search warrant at the house where the two suspects lived and recovered a black BB gun and other evidence linking the women to the robberies.

Riffe and Smith were both charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and use of a firearm in commission with a felony and theft. They are being held at the Charles County Detention Center.

 

 

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