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Woman gets 4 years in Dillard's robbery

Eagle Staff Report

A Brenham woman convicted of robbery and assaulting a police officer after stealing clothes from a College Station department store was sentenced Friday to four years in prison.

A Brazos County jury in April found Tanya Ruiz guilty of the charges, which stemmed from a September 2000 incident at Dillard’s in Post Oak Mall. She had faced up to 20 years in prison for the robbery and 10 years for the assault.

Ruiz and a friend were spotted at the store putting clothes into a bag, and an off-duty College Station police officer tried to apprehend the women outside.

He followed them to a car, according to testimony, and tried to grab the keys from the ignition. But the women attempted to drive off, with Ruiz putting the car in gear and yelling, “Hit it,” Officer Kevin Roby testified.

A resulting sore spot on Roby’s arm enhanced the crime from misdemeanor shoplifting to felony robbery, prosecutors said.

The other woman, Mary Jackson, still is awaiting trial.

District Judge J.D. Langley sentenced Ruiz, 26, to four years for both convictions, with the terms running concurrently. She also must pay $5,000 in fines.

Langley handed down the sentence as he expressed concern over the amount of responsibility Ruiz had taken for her actions, prosecutor Bill Ballard said.

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