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Published: Sunday, 12/21/2008

Shoppers lose purses, presents to thieves


Shoppers taking advantage of stores’ late hours encountered violent purse thieves in two separate incidents near Westfield Franklin Park mall late Saturday.

Two teenagers were assaulted as they walked through the mall parking lot at about 9:57 p.m. between Dick’s Sporting Goods and a nearby bank building by two black women in their 20s. The two suspects, who drove up in a vehicle behind the victims, swung what appeared to be metal pipes at the two women, striking one in the arm and the other on the forehead.

The suspects stole the teens’ purses and purchases and drove off in their vehicle.

Shortly after, a 35-year-old woman reported being confronted by two black females as she loaded her purchases and her 3-year-old daughter in her vehicle at about 10 p.m. in the parking of Kohl’s, 4865 Monroe St. The victim told police that a woman in her 20s approached her and tried to grab her purse from her hand.

The victim struggled with the woman when a second assailant approached her from behind and hit her over the head with an unknown object, cutting open her head. The two women ran when the victim set off the panic alarm on her car.

Each of the victims received medical treatment for their injuries. It was not clear if the incidents were related.

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