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KPD arrests two in Haslam mugging


Knoxville Police arrested two Johnson City-area men in connection with a robbery at West Town Mall Thursday, Sept. 14.

Shawn Lee Thrift, 22, and his brother, Billy Wayne Thrift, 31, were arrested and charged with one count each of robbery Thursday afternoon.

The victim, Natalie Haslam, is the step-mother of Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam.

Haslam told officers she was exiting the mall around 11:30 a.m. when the suspects “ran up to her and grabbed her purse,” KPD spokesman Darryl Debusk said.

Debusk added that “in the process of trying to pull the purse away from the victim, Haslam was pulled to the ground where she received injuries from the fall. Haslam was transported to a local hospital where she was treated and released for minor injuries to her arm and shoulder.”

The arrestees were charged and held at the Knox County Detention Center off Maloneyville Road. Bond was set at $50,000 each.

West Town Mall officials in a statement stated: “Any time that an incident like this is reported, our primary concern is for the safety and wellbeing of our shoppers and mall employees.”

 

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