Purse-snatching suspect in custody

The driver of this car is accused of stealing a woman's purse in the Meijer store parking lot in Norton Shores, March 20, 2014. (photo courtesy Norton Shores Police Department)

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) — A 45-year-old Muskegon man was taken into custody for questioning after a 59-year-old Norton Shores woman was dragged by the vehicle of a suspect trying to snatch her purse in a Meijer parking lot.

The incident happened just before 8 p.m. Thursday outside the Meijer store at Henry Street and W. Norton Avenue in Norton Shores.

Surveillance video showed the suspect’s car as it circled the lot and the victim as she reached in her vehicle and began to put items in the back.

The woman then left her purse in the grocery cart, and suddenly, the driver of the silver car pulled up next to the victim’s cart, according to the video.

“He grabs her purse. She grabs onto the purse as he’s driving away. He pulls her across and she actually struck that vehicle that was parked there,” Norton Shores Police Chief Dan Shaw said. “You would think, if she grabbed onto the purse, she wouldn’t be able to hold on to it. Unfortunately, she was, and was pulled off balance or however that occurred.”

The video then showed the victim getting dragged several feet before striking a vehicle parked a few spaces away.

On Friday afternoon, authorities learned an unknown person had returned the stolen purse to the victim’s home. Police want to speak with the person who returned the purse so they can find out when and where the purse was discovered.

Police are seeing if anything is missing from the purse.

Around 6 p.m. Friday night, detectives identified the suspect and the vehicle involved in the Meijer incident. They believe the same suspect was involved in an unarmed robbery at a Shell station on Apple Avenue in Muskegon early Friday morning.

Approximately 8:30 p.m., authorities executed a search warrant on a residence in the 500 block of Adams Street in Muskegon.

Authorities say they found the suspect in question, a 45-year-old Muskegon man, and took him into custody for questioning.

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