Police warn holiday shoppers after South Philly purse snatching

- "Tis the season to be jolly" in South Philadelphia but the season of giving turned into the season of taking when an alleged robber ripped off a shopper's purse from her SUV as she loaded packages into the vehicle, according to police.

"Money. Yeah, he take the money," said the victim of the purse snatching incident as she spoke exclusively to FOX 29.

"My mom put the purse in the car. He just opened the door and grabbed the purse," her daughter added.

The victim and her daughter, who asked us not to identify them, spoke to FOX 29 from their home Tuesday night, still rattled after the scary encounter.

"She hopes that the guy is gonna be arrested," the victim's daughter said.

It happened around noon on November 27th at a shopping center parking lot off Oregon Avenue. Moments before the robbery, surveillance cameras caught the suspect cruising the lot in his Toyota Highlander with distinctive tailpipes and side grill work.

"You can see this guy, looks like he scoping out the parking lot, looking for a victim," explained police Lt. John Stanford.

The suspect parked right next to the 46-year-old victim. As she started to load her packages, the suspect pulled to the end of the aisle, walked back and took the purse from the front passenger seat, according to police.

"People are out there looking for an opportunity to strike if they can so you want to be aware of your surroundings," Lt. Stanford added.

The woman tried to catch up to the alleged thief and grabbed hold of his car door. Police say she was dragged a short distance.

"She almost got ran over by the car. She fell down on the floor and she got hurt," the victim's daughter said .

"Trying to grab onto the vehicle. This lady is very lucky she wasn't more severely injured," Lt. Stanford said.

Police used the incident to again warn the public this holiday season to be aware of suspicious cars or people around them in shopping center parking lots.

"Try and get a description of the vehicle, description of the individual or get a tag number from the vehicle, something like that," he said.

Some good news to report, the suspect apparently dumped the woman's purse with her cell phone and ID inside. A Good Samaritan found it and returned it to the victim. The alleged thief however did get away with about $200. If you recognize the suspect or that SUV, please call South Detectives.


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