Police: UF employee chases down thief

Published: Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 12:12 a.m.

A University of Florida employee chased down a man accused of stealing a woman's purse from a campus library Friday morning, police reported.

Officers arrested Legrand Perry, 47, on charges of burglary, trespass after warning and theft, according to the UF Police Department.

A woman told police she had stepped away from her belongings inside the Veterinary Medicine Library, said Lt. Robert Wagner. When she came back, she saw a man leaning over the items and apparently putting something in a bag.

As the man started to walk away, the woman realized her purse was gone. The theft occurred at about 9:30 a.m.

The man ran away with the woman yelling at him to stop, Wagner said. An employee, Patrick Connor, realized what had happened and started chasing Perry.

Wagner said Connor continued after Perry, who ran through VA Medical Center property, before he was caught at 1600 SW 16th Ave.

Perry had previously been told not to come onto UF property after earlier theft convictions, according to police and court records.

Perry was being held at the Alachua County jail on Friday evening pending a first court appearance.

Wagner warned students to never leave their belongings where someone could steal them. "There are people who come in the libraries and prey on students leaving stuff unattended," he said.

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