HOUSTON — A violent purse snatching at a Houston mall last month was captured on surveillance video, and police are seeking the public's help in making an arrest in the case.
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The incident took place Oct. 24 at The Galleria, according to the Houston Police Department. Officials believe the woman was followed to the mall from a nearby bank where she made a cash withdrawal, KTRK reported.
Surveillance video shows the woman driving to the mall and pulling into a parking garage space. What police believe is the suspect's vehicle is seen following behind the victim's car. The victim exits her car and boards an escalator. A man follows her and approaches the woman from behind, grabbing her purse while she is on the escalator and dragging her backward. The struggle continues until the woman lets go of her purse strap, at which point the robber flees the scene in a burgundy-colored, four-door Buick.
Police warn that these types of crimes tend to rise during the holiday season. "It looks like he probably followed her from the bank. These juggers will sit in parking lots and actually just wait. They are looking for bigger targets," Houston Robbery Division Detective Jeff Brieden told KPRC. "Bank jugging" is a slang term for a type of theft targeting those leaving banks or ATMs with potentially large sums of money.
The purse snatcher is described as a black man, age 20 to 30, 5 feet, 11 inches to 6 feet in height, with a thin build. He was wearing a white hoodie with blue jeans at the time of the robbery. Crime Stoppers may pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and/or arrest of a suspect in the case. Information may be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online.