Around noon Thursday, the Kmart on Montgomery Cross Road's crime-free year came to an end. Kmart garden manager Eddie Mitchell isn't surprised. The crime was a purse snatching, and he says there are plenty of opportunities. "Ladies leave their shopping carts, and they leave their purses unattended," he said.
Some senior citizens found out the hard way when one woman left her shopping cart unattended. When no one was looking, a man snatched the purse and ran off. He sprinted by several shoppers, trying to make his getaway. He ended up running into one woman, hit her in the face with the purse, knocking her over. From there, he made a bee line for the garden center exit, where he ran into Mitchell.
"I was giving chase here, and then I went down and I hollered at him," Mitchell told us. "He gave a brief look and dropped [the purse]. Ran off and dropped it."
Police nabbed the suspected thief. But once the victim had her purse back, she took off.
"We need to get in touch with the victim to proceed," explained Savannah-Chatham police Det. Richard Hutcherson.
"He violated her, I know she was upset, but I hope she'll call," said Mitchell. He added a word of warning: ladies, keep your purses on your shoulders. "You walk two feet, it's gone. In a heartbeat."
While police wait for a call from the victim, the suspect has been charged with simple battery for knocking over the other woman inside Kmart. She was taken to the hospital and treated for an arm injury and bruises. If the purse-snatching victim does not come forward, police hope surveillance video will help identify the suspect and lead to further charges.