Middletown police seek help identifying Big Lots robbery suspect

Police are asking for the public’s help to find the person who snatched a purse from an 84-year-old Middletown woman last month as she left a store. They are hoping someone recognizes him or the car he was driving.

The woman was carrying shopping bags and her purse around 9 p.m. July 20 when she left Big Lots on Roosevelt Boulevard. When she sat down in her car, the suspect pulled closer, got out, walked to her vehicle and snatched the purse through the open door.

Middletown police Sgt. Earl Nelson said the woman’s hand was injured when the suspect yanked the strap off her arm.

The woman said her Vera Bradley purse contained cash, credit cards and her car keys. She described the suspect as a thinly built Black male, according to the police report.

She told police the man said, “I am taking your purse,” then pushed her and ran back to his vehicle and sped away.

Store security video shows the suspect wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, possibly gray or a lighter color. It is unknown whether someone else was inside the suspect’s vehicle.

The vehicle the suspect is driving appears to be a light color, older model SUV, possibly a Mazda, according to police.

“We are reaching out to the community, we have exhausted all our means at this point,” Nelson said.

The security is blurring just as the robbery is happening, but there is a good view of the car the suspect was driving. Anyone who recognizes the suspect or vehicle or who has information regarding the robbery is urged to contact detective Becki French at 513-425-7742 or dispatch at 513-425-7700 option 0.

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