Police: Man snatches purse from 86-year-old woman


Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 8:38 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 8:38 a.m.

A Gainesville man was arrested Wednesday on allegations he snatched the purse of an 86-year-old woman as she walked along a street, police reported.

Ernest Cook Jr., 49, of 904 NE 18th St., was charged with robbery by sudden snatching and burglary, according to Gainesville police arrest reports.

The woman told police she was walking along Southwest Fourth Place at about 6 p.m. when a man on a bicycle snatched her purse off her shoulder and rode south on Main Street. The purse contained about $300 in cash and other items.

Surveillance video from the nearby St. Francis House homeless shelter shows a man later identified as Cook riding by just before the robbery and then afterward carrying a black purse, the report states.

At 6:23 p.m., police were sent to an area of 1200 SW 14th Ave. regarding a man seen jumping a fence.

GPD Officers, including Officer Matthew Holt with his police dog Rua, caught the man, identified as Cook. Officers retraced his path and found money, items from the purse and the bike, police reported.

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