The St. Augustine Police Department is asking Historic City News readers to help identify the robber in a purse-snatching incident that occurred Thursday night at about 9:15 p.m. in the rear parking lot of the Columbia Restaurant.
The victim reported to police that she was walking west bound in the parking lot which faces Spanish Street when a young black man ran up behind her and snatched her purse. The 52-year-old St Augustine woman began screaming for help.
A man who was standing nearby, heard the screaming and gave chase to the man running away with the stolen purse. The witness was shouting for him to “drop the purse”, which he eventually did. The purse was recovered.
As police patrolman Mike Linsky was interviewing the victim, additional officers were searching the area for the assailant. Officer Alina Shirshikova observed a man matching the description and believed to be the robber. He was reportedly heading westbound on King Street.
Police officer Roy Smith also observed the man heading west of Ponce de Leon Boulevard on King Street and ordered him to halt. Instead, as he attempted to make his escape on foot, Smith gave chase; however, he lost him near Fred Waters Way and Spring Street.
The Sheriff’s Office assisted with a tracking K-9, but lost the scent near the Maxwell Manor Apartment Complex.
If you have information about this crime, the St. Augustine Police Department urges you to call 1-888-277-TIPS (8477), Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida. You can remain Anonymous and may be eligible to receive a reward of up to $1000.00