Men accused of targeting women in robberies in two states

Orange County deputies say suspects followed victims home from work

Published On: Oct 03 2013 12:01:23 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 03 2013 06:01:54 AM EDT
Darnell Rice & Felix Pierson
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -

Orange County deputies arrested two men they say were targeting women in two states in robberies.

The investigation into the crimes began in Gwinnett County, Georgia, in April after a series of women were robbed of their purses on their way home from work.

Investigator say 39-year-old Darnell Rice and 40-year-old Felix Pierson were conducting surveillance on their victims, who were typically Asian women working at restaurants. Deputies say the duo followed the women home, then pulled out a gun and stole their purses before they could get inside their homes.

Deputies think there were at least eight victims in Georgia, but authorities got word the two had traveled to Central Florida. They say Rice and Pierson were arrested while planning another crime in Orange County.

Rice and Pierson are both currently in custody in the Orange County jail but face extradition back to Georgia to face the charges.

Investigators say they're working to find out if there could be additional cases involving the men that have gone unreported. They plan to reach out to other law enforcement agencies to share their information from the case.