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Posted on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

Police: Man arrested minutes after snatching woman's purse in Walmart parking lot

By John Counts


A 70-year-old woman had her purse snatched in the parking lot of this Ypsilanti Township Walmart Thursday. file photo

A 31-year-old Milan man was arrested while pumping gas soon after police said he snatched a 70-year-old woman's purse out of her hands in an Ypsilanti Township Walmart parking lot Thursday, police said.

Deputies were called to the Walmart, at 2515 Ellsworth Road, around 10:10 a.m. for reports of a purse snatching, according to a release from the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.

The 70-year-old woman told police she had just gotten out of her car when a suspect drove up next to her in an SUV, got out and grabbed the purse from her grasp.

The suspect then fled from the parking lot in his vehicle.

The woman provided police with a vehicle description and within a few minutes a Pittsfield Township police officer spotted the suspect down the street getting gas on Carpenter Road.

The MIlan man was arrested without incident and the woman's purse was recovered.

The man was expected to be arraigned on charges Friday, police said.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

He probably has been arraigned by now ... can we get the update/name please.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 4:12 p.m.

just some trivia regarding his pumping gas...often after thieves steal credit cards, they pump a dollar or two's worth of gas to determine if the card has been reported stolen yet. if it works at the gas pump, they hurry to their nearest retail store and rack up huge purchases. if your wallet is stolen, be sure to cancel your cards right away.


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 8:26 p.m.

Why didn't you release the name? Milan is a small town, people need to know who did this.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

Yes but... He probably has been arraigned at the time you posted that John... can we get the update/name please.

John Counts

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

We didn't release his name because he had not been arraigned in court on the charges yet when the story was posted.


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

I shop at Meijer's and - very occasionally - at Wal*Mart. Returning to my car, I toss my handbag into the trunk first, then load my purchases, slam trunk and head out. Never been threatened (yet); hope my luck continues. PS: Some would consider me elderly.


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

Would be interested and willing to bet this guy had a record with the police already. Just curious.


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 11:16 a.m.

Police suspicions were aroused when no item in his outfit matched his purse, not even his shoes.


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 2:20 a.m.

Good job coppers. keep up the good work.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.

If true, the headline could be "Outrageous SUV gas consumption leads to desperate theft to fund gas purchase"


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

Nicholas - Really? Why do you say such stuff? Stealing from an elderly person is wrong on every level! As is stealing from anyone! However, if you are addressing another reason that gas prices are so high? Have at it!!!! Go for it... I'm interested!


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 1:41 a.m.

What a coward. Kudos to the police for their quick action.


Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

Great job officers.Hope the trash didn't hurt the woman

Linda Peck

Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

Great police action!


Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

Such a he-man eh? Not to smart to be low on gas after stealing a purse from an elderly woman...


Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

Maybe if he wasn't driving an SUV, affording gas wouldn't be an issue...ha ha


Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

Sounds like he needed the purse to get the gas!

AA Neighbor

Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 5:28 p.m.

Lock him up and throw away the key.

Basic Bob

Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 9:06 a.m.

That's a bit harsh.


Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

Good work!


Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

d'oh!!! take away for criminals...gas up before the getaway.. brain surgeons for sure.

Hugh Giariola

Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

C'mon Ricebrnr, HOW is a criminal supposed to get money to gas up before he robs somebody?

Ann English

Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

Reminiscent of an auto theft from a BP gas station at Packard and Platt years ago; the auto thief went to Detroit in the stolen vehicle.