Derrick Cobb, 25, approached teenage girls, between 12 and 14 years old, on the local streets and convinced them to remove their socks, claiming he was conducting a survey on brands of footwear, authorities said.
Once the girls removed them, Cobb would grab the socks and run. On one occasion in February, Cobb allegedly knocked down a 14-year-old girl, who had just stepped off a county school bus, before snatching and fleeing with her socks.
Cobb was arrested on March 7 on a warrant for an unrelated theft charge, police say. He was later charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor theft in connection with the sock thefts, after a mother of a 13-year-old victim called police, according to a spokesperson at the Prince George County police department.
Police, who say it is unclear why Cobb wanted the socks, were able to identify him from a store security camera.