Purse Snatching Victim Speaks Out

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

(WVLT) Police are looking for a man they believe may be responsible for three purse snatchings across East Tennessee.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford has more.

Police say three women most likely fell victim to the same man in Lenoir City, Maryville and Knoxville.

They're still looking for the suspect, and one victim, in particular, says she's still very leery about his where-abouts.

Police say the purse snatcher started out his string Saturday in the Thunderworld Family Fun Center parking lot in Maryville.

The suspect was unsuccessful after police say he grabbed a 46 year old woman by the throat.

Sgt. Mike McCarter with the Knoxville Police Department says, "he's demonstrated that he'll continue to do so unless we do catch him."

Carol Fletcher says she was in a Lenoir City Food City parking lot when she placed her purse in her cart to unload her groceries.

That's when she says a car came out of nowhere, knocked over her cart, and the man scooped up her purse without ever leaving his car.

Sgt. McCarter says, "it only takes a second to grab it and often times more than one person will work together."

Charlane Relford, a purse snatching victim says, "it was definitely a scary situation."

UT grad student Relford says she was walking out of the West Knoxville Hobby Lobby when a man drove right next to her, reaching for her purse through his window.

"I had a grip on it and I thought I could be able to snatch it away from him, so I kept holding on and he grabbed, you know, and he was in a car, so he kept rolling and I was rolling with him. I was running with the car."

Relford says after about 20 feet, the man slammed on his gas with her purse in his hands.

"It took me flying to the ground. Scrapes on my hands, elbows, of course, my back, my ankle."

Relford says he got away with her credit cards, bank card and social security card.

The suspect immediately drove to a bank and took out 500 dollars from her checking account.

"I can't lie. I am pretty paranoid right now, just watching my back."

Police describe the suspect as a white man in his early to mid-20's, 5'9'', weighing between 160 to 170 pounds.

He has collar length blonde hair and was driving a silver Subaru with tinted windows and a spoiler on the back.

You can call 911 if you see him.

Police say you should never carry your social security card in your purse, and if you're going to a store, it's best to only carry what you need to check out, rather than your whole purse.

All of these purse snatchings took place in broad daylight, so you have to be alert out there.


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