SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Donny Finnegan is charged with vehicle highjacking and armed criminal action after stealing a woman’s vehicle in a Walgreens parking lot.
On May 28, 2022, at 9:15 p.m., Springfield Police responded to Walgreens at 1349 East Republic Road for a robbery. A 73-year-old woman told police she drove to Walgreens to pick up some items when she notice a white man, later identified as Finnegan, pacing along the side of the building.
She left her small terrier in her vehicle and went into the store and told the store clerk about Finnegan. After purchasing her items she went back to her vehicle and began loading the items into her car. That’s when Finnegan approached her and told her his name was Alex. Finnegan started a conversation with the woman about her dog and then reached under his shirt and pulled out a pistol pointing to the woman’s back.
Finnegan ordered the woman to keep putting her groceries in the car and stated “I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t desperate” and “My mother has cancer”. Finnegan then told the woman to start the car for him. She tried starting it with her key fob but it didn’t start because her foot had to be on the brake pedal.
The woman was able to get her dog out of the car and Finnegan told her to go stand by the wall of the Walgreens. He also ordered her to give him to key fob and while giving Finnegan the key fob, while her purse was open he also grabbed her wallet and other items.
Finnegan told the woman, “Because I like dogs, I’m going to let you live,” then got into the woman’s vehicle and drove off.
Once officers arrived at the Walgreens they were able to review surveillance footage, which showed the interaction between Finnegan and the woman. Around 10:30 p.m. another 911 call came in about an abandoned vehicle life in an alleyway near 747 South Nettleton. The caller stated the vehicle was left there by a white male who ran away. Once an officer arrived on the scene it was determined that the vehicle was the stolen vehicle of the woman at Walgreens.
A witness said they saw the vehicle driving on a pedestrian walkway. It then stopped in an alley and a man jumped out of the vehicle and loaded some items into a backpack and went southbound on foot going between houses.
Officers searched the vehicle and found the woman’s wallet but all the cash inside the wallet was missing along with her checkbook. While in the process of processing the vehicle an officer saw a white man walking through the alley that matched the description of Finnegan. Police detained the man and brought the woman to identify the suspect. The woman positively identified Finnegan as the man who robbed her.
Officers were unable to recover the pistol but did find some cash and red and green dog leashes in his pocket. The woman said the dog leashes belonged to her and that they had been in her car at the time of the robbery.