Citizens chase down suspect who allegedly tried to steal woman’s purse at San Antonio H-E-B

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Updated 11:15 am, Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Concerned citizens who witnessed a suspect attempt to steal a woman’s purse at a Northwest Side H-E-B on Wednesday chased the man until he was exhausted, held him down and then turned him over to police.

“We need more of this,” said San Antonio Police Department Capt. Tracy Powers. “These were concerned citizens willing to get involved.”

Police say the suspect, who was not identified by police, attempted to steal an elderly woman’s purse from her shopping cart at the H-E-B in the 5200 block of De Zavala Road.

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Three men saw the suspect try to steal the purse, and they began chasing him. One of the citizens was armed with a concealed handgun at the time, according to officials.

Police said the three citizens chased the suspect all across the shopping center’s parking lot. The suspect led them to a nearby Five Guys, where a getaway car, described as a red sports car, was waiting for him.

The citizen armed with concealed carry allegedly lifted his shirt and flashed his weapon at the driver. Apparently frightened, the driver sped off, leaving the suspect behind, police said.

“The driver saw the concealed carry and gave up the ghost,” Powers said.

The exhausted suspect gave up the chase and was apprehended by the men.

“They ran him to death,” said Sgt. Michael Oliva. “The witnesses helped a lot. Thank the witnesses.”

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Employees at the Five Guys called police, and two of the citizens held the suspect down until police arrived. The man armed with concealed carry left the scene before police arrived.

Paramedics treated the suspect for extreme exhaustion outside the Five Guys. He was released from treatment at the scene and arrested on a theft charge.

During the chase, the suspect had dropped the woman’s purse, and it was returned to the woman.

“We normally don’t like citizens getting involved, but these guys just wanted to help out a stranger,” Powers said.

Powers said police are currently tracking down the driver and expect to make an arrest soon.

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Twitter: @calebjdowns

1 Houston

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