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Man admits to stealing purses with brother

ATHENS - A Winder man has reportedly confessed to and implicated his brother in the mugging and purse snatching of three older women recently, including former state Rep. Louise McBee.

Jonathan Chad Huff, 22, of Winder, told police he and his 18-year-old brother, Joshua, robbed the women because he needed money to make a car payment after quitting his job at CMC of Georgia, Winder Police Detective Gregg Teatino said.

CMC officials recently announced plans to move their operations to Toccoa.

McBee, 83, served six terms in the state House of Representatives and was a UGA dean and vice president for academic affairs. She said the two men intentionally hit her with their car door and robbed her in the parking lot of Dollar General, 3190 Atlanta Highway in Athens on Friday.

The crime spree began at 1:15 p.m. Friday when the brothers reportedly snatched a 64-year-old woman's purse from the back of her sport utility vehicle as she unloaded groceries in the parking lot of Quality Foods, 208 N. Broad St., Winder.

About an hour later, McBee was walking to the Dollar General to buy lawn bags when she was hit and knocked down by the car door.

"The car came up behind me, and they opened the door and hit me with it," McBee said. "It knocked me to the pavement, and the passenger side guy got out and ran around and got my pocketbook."

McBee lost about $125, but some of her belongings have been found in the Kingswood subdivision. She asked anyone out walking in the area to keep an eye open for her identification cards.

At 3:06 p.m. Monday, a 76-year-old woman was injured when Chad Huff reportedly tried to grab her purse in the Publix parking lot at 17 Monroe Highway in Winder. The woman held onto her purse and Huff fled in a white Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a temporary tag, reportedly driven by Joshua Huff.

She was treated at Barrow Regional Medical Center for scrapes and shoulder injuries.

Winder police arrested Chad Huff about 11 p.m. Monday as he sat in the McDonald's drive-through on May Street in Winder, in the car reportedly used in all three crimes and wearing the same clothes described by his third victim.

"Chad was very remorseful," Teatino said. "He tried to take all the blame, but about two hours later, he started crying and admitted his brother drove the car."

Joshua Huff's grandmother brought him to the Winder Police Department about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Judge June Davis on Wednesday denied bond for both Huffs, according to Teatino.

Winder police charged the men with robbery, theft by taking, entering an auto, aggravated assault and battery against the elderly.

Athens-Clarke County investigators charged both brothers with aggravated assault, robbery and battery on a person over 65.

Although McBee didn't break any bones, she remains bruised and in pain.

"I had a bump on my head as big as a baseball," she said. "It blacked half my face, my hip is still bruised and it scratched up my glasses."

She is scheduled for an MRI to check out a previously damaged rotator cuff.

McBee said she is glad the brothers are off the street.

"I am glad they got caught, and I think they should serve time," McBee said. "They picked on older people they thought were vulnerable."