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Eva White's just-purchased lottery ticket was tucked safely into her black satchel Friday morning when a man ran up and snatched the bag from her wrist.
The man, who had knocked aside a woman and her children, took off running with the purse.
“I sure was surprised,” said Ms. White, 79.
An unidentified friend of Ms. White who had driven her to the Spot Mart, 525 Dorr St., drove after the purse snatcher.
“She said she was going to run him over,” Ms. White recalled.
A young man also took off after the robber, chasing him across four lanes of traffic on Collingwood Boulevard.
When the young man caught up with the robber, he grabbed him, pulled the robber’s shirt over his head, and took back the purse.
“You know me, I’m Rick and I got kids,” the robber reportedly told the man, as recounted in a Toledo police report. The mystery Good Samaritan — whose name was redacted from a police report — let the robber go.
The robber apparently continued to run toward the Pinewood Place Apartments, across from the shopping center where Ms. White was still waiting, stunned. That afternoon she was still shaken up, she said.
Ms. White said she didn’t know the mystery man, but was thankful that he got her purse back.
“He was very sweet,” she said. “He's so nice. I just thanked him so much.”
Ms. White, who lives in central Toledo, said nothing like that had ever happened to her before, and hopes it never does again.
“It was mighty scary,” she said. “It just happened so fast.”
She said the purse snatcher probably was in the carryout and saw her buy the lottery ticket. Thinking she was an easy target, he decided to steal her purse. Nothing was missing from her bag when she got it back, she said.
“I think it’s terrible,” Ms. White said. “He should be locked up forever. He’s a jerk. A desperate jerk.”
Police have not made any arrests but had been looking for a possible suspect around the Pinewood apartments. A Toledo police real-time surveillance camera is on Collingwood, right across from the plaza where the robbery happened, but was facing a different direction and did not capture the crime.
Police cited the investigation as they declined to identify the man who recovered Ms. White’s purse.
The robber, “Rick,” is described in a police report as black, about 6 feet tall, and in his 40s. He was wearing a white T-shirt.
Contact Taylor Dungjen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.