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Victim, 83, granddaughter, 9, recount tug-of-war with Manchester purse snatcher

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 25. 2018 3:27AM
Manchester police officers investigate a purse snatching on Wilson Street Monday afternoon. The bicycle had been abandoned by the robber, police said. (JEFFREY HASTINGS PHOTO)

MANCHESTER — An 83-year-old woman baby-sitting her 9-year-old granddaughter said both were in a tug of war over a purse that a man stole right from the woman’s driveway.

“It happened not even in a second,” said the victim, who didn’t want to be identified.

Police said the woman parked her vehicle in her Wilson Street driveway Monday afternoon when a man grabbed her purse and then ran toward a bicycle. He fell off the bike as the girl chased after him, leading him to abandon the bicycle and run away shortly before 1:25 p.m., according to authorities.

“I can’t believe that happened,” said Natalie Farris, who lives within view of the victim’s home.

“I’ll definitely lock my gate and keep my weapons close by,” said Farris, who carries a gun while walking her four dogs.

The purse contained cash, credit cards and bank information, police said.

The purse-snatching came three days after a man on a bicycle robbed a woman while showing a large hunting knife around 5 p.m. Friday — about four blocks from Monday’s attack.

Friday’s victim said she was walking home from the Dollar Tree store on Wilson Street when a man hopped off a bike and tried to snatch her purse near Grove Street. The man made off with cash.

“It is unknown if the two are related,” said Lt. Brian O’Keefe.

Manchester Street resident Peter Malcuit said he saw seven police cruisers when he walked by the grandmother’s house within an hour of Monday’s purse-snatching.

Cedar Street resident Natalie Farris said she’s going to keep her doors locked and weapons ready after hearing about a purse-snatching nearby. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

He said he was surprised at the daylight attack because Wilson Street is “a highly traveled road during the day.”

“Not the greatest of areas, but it’s also not the worst,” he said.

Malcuit, who said he is a recovering addict, believes someone wanting money to buy drugs was the culprit in Monday’s purse-snatching.

“Anything they can to make money to get their fix,” he said.

Last Thursday afternoon, a West Side shop owner suffered severe head and facial injuries when he was robbed and pistol-whipped at his First Nutrition store on Second Street.

Police also are actively investigating that case, O’Keefe said.

Farris said Christmas decoration projection equipment was stolen from her yard and a friend’s car window was broken near her house.

Monday’s purse snatcher was described as a black man; he was last seen wearing a gray or black coat, black pants, black shoes with white trim and a black flat-brimmed hat.

Friday’s robber was described as a Hispanic man with short brown hair, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall.

Friday’s victim suffered a bruised arm and shoulder. Monday’s victim said she and the girl weren’t physically harmed.

Crime Manchester

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