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Published: Thursday, 5/31/2012

Monroe Co. purse thief sought


OTTAWA LAKE -- Monroe County Sheriff's detectives are seeking a man they say was attacked with a gardening tool by a 76-year-old woman when he stole her purse at Whiteford Union Cemetery.

Leona Cooper was planting flowers on graves of relatives in the cemetery at Sterns and Adler roads about 6:45 p.m. Saturday when she saw a man get out of a vehicle and enter the passenger side of her parked car, where her purse was located, detectives said.

The woman ran after the suspect, following him to his vehicle, where she reached in and jabbed a bulb planting tool into his upper body. As the suspect drove off she was dragged a short distance but was not seriously hurt.

The suspect, who was driving a late model, burgundy Ford Fusion with Ohio license plates, fled west on Sterns in the direction of Whiteford Center Road and U.S. 23.

The victim told detectives the man was white, clean shaven, in his early 20s, about 5 feet, 9 inches, thin build, and had short brown hair. He was wearing a striped short-sleeve shirt and dark pants.

Detective Heath Velliquette said the suspect could have marks and injuries on the left side of his shoulder, neck, or arm from the garden tool.

Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff's detectives at 734-224-7316.

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