Police investigating whether robberies linked

The SUV believed to be involved in a purse snatching in a Walmart parking lot. (Courtesy Fruitport Township Police Department - May 18, 2014)
The SUV believed to be involved in a purse snatching in a Walmart parking lot. (Courtesy Fruitport Township Police Department - May 18, 2014)

FRUITPORT, Mich. (WOOD) — Police are working to determine if recent robberies in Fruitport and Norton Shores are connected.

Around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the Fruitport Township Police Department said, officers responded to the parking lot of the E. Sherman Boulevard Walmart after a man approached a woman while she was loading groceries into her SUV and grabbed her purse from her cart. The woman struggled briefly with the suspect, but could not stop him. She was not hurt.

The suspect was described as wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt and wearing a bandana over his face. He took off in a tan SUV believed to be a Chevrolet Blazer. That SUV was captured on surveillance camera.

The SUV believed to be involved in a purse snatching in a Walmart parking lot. (Courtesy Fruitport Township Police Department - May 18, 2014)
(The SUV believed to be involved in a purse snatching in a Walmart parking lot. Courtesy Fruitport Township Police Department – May 18, 2014)

On Wednesday, the Norton Shores Police Department responded to an incident at 12:15 a.m. in the parking lot of Ozzie’s Party Store, where a suspect threatened a clerk with a handgun. The clerk told the suspect that he didn’t have money and the robber left in what was described as a silver Chevrolet Blazer.

Another incident happened at 1 a.m. the same morning at a Shell gas station, about two miles from the earlier incident. A clerk at the gas station stated that a man came into the store and threatened him with a handgun. He got away with an undisclosed amount of cash driving a tan Chevrolet Blazer.

Norton Shores and Fruitport Township police departments are working together to determine whether the same suspect and vehicle was involved in all three incidents.

If anyone has any information about any of the incidents, they are asked to contact the Norton Shores Police Department 231.733.2691 or Fruitport Township Police Department 231.865.8477. They can also contact Silent Observer at 231.72.CRIME (27463).

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