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Mar 8, 2010 2:42 PM by Ariel Wesler

Purse thief still on the loose

Two robberies attempted in less than an hour in Santa Maria Sunday have police searching for the suspect. The first incident happened yesterday around 6:00 p.m. in the Sears parking lot at the Santa Maria Town Center.

Officers say a 68-year-old Guadalupe woman was walking from Sears when the suspect grabbed her purse and tried to rip it away from her. The woman held on and the suspect pulled her about 15 feet. A bystander saw what was going on and yelled at the man. The suspect let go and ran off toward the intersection of Main and Miller.

About 45 minutes later, police get reports of a second robbery in the Walmart parking lot. A 30-year- old woman says a man ran directly at her while she was walking to her car. He grabbed her purse and fled.

Police believe the same suspect is involved in both crimes. The women described the suspect as a Hispanic man in his twenties or thirties, wearing a dark colored striped shirt. He may be associated with a newer red Toyota 2-door.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers.


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