Charges: Backseat robber needed cash to get married

TACOMA, Wash. -- A man arrested on suspicion of hiding in the backseat of a woman's car and robbing her* last month in Tacoma told detectives he only robbed the victim because he needed money to get married, according to charging documents filed with Pierce County Superior Court Tuesday.

According to the Tacoma Police Department, the victim was about to enter a local Safeway Feb. 13 when a man approached her in the parking lot and asked for a light for his cigarette. The victim gave the man a lighter and proceeded to do her shopping.

The victim drove off but returned to the store when she realized she had forgotten something on her shopping list. This time when she went to get back in her car, she smelled cigarette smoke.

Figuring someone had just been smoking near her car, the victim drove off again. After a few blocks, the man who had asked for a light appeared in her backseat, according to police.

According to the charging documents, the victim slammed on her brakes, and the man flew into the front seat and hit the dashboard. The man then reportedly grabbed the victim's purse and ran out of the car.

The man, later identified as 31-year-old Christopher Brown and picked out of a photo lineup by the victim, was arrested with his girlfriend Constance the following day while robbing a Puyallup chiropractic office, according to the charging documents.

According to the documents, Brown eventually admitted to the Tacoma robbery and said he wanted to write a letter of apology to the victim for scaring her, saying he only stole the victim's purse because he needed money to get married.

While pressure from the wedding industrial complex can be a powerful force, it's still not reason enough to commit a crime, at least according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney, who has charged Brown with robbery, theft and vehicle prowling.

He is being held on $100,000 bail.

*Though still not charged with adding to my fear of backseat murderers.