Suspect in purse-snatching nabbed

Published 10:49 pm Thursday, February 24, 2011

A man accused of snatching an 82-year-old woman’s purse is in jail after witnesses gave police information that led them to his girlfriend.


Joseph Wayne Thompson, 20, is in the Western Tidewater Regional Jail with no bond on charges of strong-armed robbery and petit larceny. He also had outstanding warrants on file for domestic assault and indecent exposure, according to Suffolk spokesperson Debbie George.

Police were called to the McDonald’s restaurant at the corner of North Main Street and Constance Road at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after a man grabbed the woman’s purse in the parking lot there and took off running along North Main Street, George stated in a press release about the incident.

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A citizen who witnessed the robbery began chasing the purse-snatcher. The victim was not injured.

Witnesses told police they saw a woman walking to a nearby convenience store with the suspect prior to the robbery, according to the press release. Police were able to find and interview her, and they learned that she and her boyfriend had been staying at the motel next door to the McDonald’s.

Investigators then went to the hotel room and interviewed the woman’s boyfriend, George stated. After further investigation, he was charged with the crime, and the victim’s property was recovered intact.