VENTURA — Among thieves, the distinction drawn between burglary and robbery is clear: robbery requires much more personal courage, while burglary is the métier of the sneak thief and commonly occurs in the absence of victims or witnesses.
Given that difference, one might consider at first blush the actions of 52-year-old Ventura transient Tatiana Winiarz in the late afternoon of March 11th to be somewhat daring, as she allegedly robbed a man in the waning daylight hours in full view of multiple witnesses and passersby in front of a busy downtown Ventura branch of Chase Bank.
What sets Winiarz apart from a truly brazen daylight robber, however, was the fact that her victim was what Ventura Police Department’s Watch Commander reported to the media as “a 44-year-old Ventura man in a wheelchair.”
According to the police spokesman, Winiarz had been noisily banging on the windows of nearby businesses when she suddenly approached her victim and “forcefully grabbed a bag from the man’s lap” in which the man was carrying an undisclosed amount of cash and prescription medications.
According to the police report, as Winiarz was assaulting her wheelchair-bound victim, “bystanders came to the man’s aid” and physically restrained her. VPD 911 Emergency dispatched uniformed officers to the scene, and upon arrival, they summarily took Winiarz into custody.
After a field investigation was conducted and multiple witness statements were collected, Winiarz was transported to Ventura County Jail, where she was booked on a charge of attempted robbery.
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