A 28-year old Taholah man was instrumental in thwarting a purse theft Sunday afternoon in Walmart. Just after 4:15 PM Aberdeen officers were dispatched to the store for a report of a robbery. Upon arrival, they located and arrested the 31-year old Hoquiam man, who had been detained by the helpful witness.

The victim, a 60-year old Ocean Shores woman, was near the back of the store when she saw the suspect grab her purse, which was sitting in her shopping cart. She grabbed the purse trying to prevent the theft, and the suspect yanked the purse from her grasp, ripping the strap off. In the process, the victim tumbled to the ground. She yelled, “He took my purse!”, and the witness gave chase as the suspect ran for the front of the store. The younger man tackled the suspect and held him until officers arrived and took him into custody. The suspect is currently held in the Grays Harbor County Jail pending Robbery 2nd Degree charges.

The Aberdeen Police Department recommends against placing purses on the top seat area of shopping carts. Theft of contents or the entire purse can occur within seconds when the unsuspecting shopper turns her back to grab something from a shelf.