Riverside Police Department Press Release


For Immediate Release

Date Thursday, February 2, 2006
Contact Steven Frasher, Office of the Chief
Phone (951) 826-5147


Disabled woman foils purse snatch; suspect in custody



Riverside, Ca- Riverside Police officers responded 11:23 a.m. Wednesday, February 1, to an attempted robbery near the intersection of Arlington and Hillside avenues that ultimately led to the arrest of a juvenile suspect in a string of purse snatching attacks on elderly women.

An elderly, disabled female was traveling westbound on Arlington in her wheelchair, when the suspect rode his bright blue BMX bike beside her. He asked her for the time, which she found strange, but replied. After a short time, the suspect grabbed the victim's purse. The victim fought for her purse and was able to hang onto it, because she had previously fed her wheelchair's seat belt strap through her purse strap, before securing her seat belt. The seat belt held and the suspect's attempt to steal her purse was thwarted. The suspect stared at the victim, as he rode east bound, while she called the police.

The responding police officer quickly broadcast the suspect description and direction of travel to other responding units. The suspect was spotted on California, near Melrose. The suspect attempted to lose the pursuing officer, who prevailed and cornered the suspect in an apartment parking area on Melrose. The suspect was taken into custody without incident.

The victim positively identified the suspect, an Hispanic male juvenile and his bright blue BMX bike, following the arrest. The suspect, age 16, is described as 56, 130 lbs., half-inch black and shaved hair, seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark jeans and black shoes.

Officers recognized the suspect and bike description as being involved in a series of similar robberies of elderly women. Anyone who may have been a victim of this suspect is urged to contact the Riverside Police Central Investigations Bureau at (951) 320-8000.