O■ By Trevor Montgomery
n Friday June 9, City of Hemet police officers quickly located, identified and arrested a subject who allegedly snatched a purse from an elderly victim at a business before racing away on his skateboard. The incident occurred in the 99 Cents Only Store parking lot at the Target Shopping Center in the 3000 block of W. Florida Avenue, near Sanderson Avenue, in Hemet. Officers responded to the area after 4 p.m., in response to several 911 calls from citizens to report the purse snatching. While some 911 callers stayed with the victim, others followed the fleeing suspect despite heavy rush hour traffic. When officers arrived at the parking lot they found the victim, described as an “elderly white female,” uninjured in the parking lot. The victim as well as the witnesses informed investigating officers that a black male had grabbed the victim’s purse and fled from the area on a skateboard. The suspect was described as wearing a black or dark-colored hoodie and white shorts, with a black and orange backpack. Some witnesses described the suspect as an adult, while others described him as a minor. The victim and witnesses told officers the alleged purse snatcher was last seen skateboarding westbound on Florida Avenue. Witnesses who were following the suspect after the purse snatching notified 911 dispatchers and responding officers said they observed the suspect enter a Sprouts store, then cross Florida Avenue and went into Sears at the Hemet Valley Mall. Officers eventually located and arrested the alleged suspect in front of J.C. Penney at the mall. It was not known the charges under which the suspect was arrested and police officials have not released any information regarding the incident. Anyone with information about this incident or who witnessed the theft should contact Hemet Police at (951) 765-2400.