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NC man who snatched purse was chased, encircled by herd of shoppers

What began as a single Walmart shopper chasing the man who allegedly stole her purse turned into a crowd of runners Thursday, as customer after customer joined in the pursuit.

The Salisbury Post reported that it happened at about 3:30 p.m Thursday, when someone snatched the purse of a woman in the parking lot of a Walmart on Arlington Street in Salisbury.

Refusing to be victimized, the energetic 63-year-old gave pursuit, screaming as she chased him up and down “a couple of parking lot aisles,” reported the Post. Several people heard the commotion and began jumping in, one by one, reported media outlets.

“She was soon joined by a group of shoppers who caught up with the badly out-of-breath (man) and encircled him,” said the Rowan Free Press.


Matthew Shane Winters

Salisbury Police

The crowd refused to let the suspect leave until police arrived, said the Observer’s news partner WBTV. The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Matthews Shane Winters, “appeared relieved” that police had arrived, media outlets reported.

Winters, who lives in Salisbury, was charged with common law robbery and jailed under $10,000 bond, according to media outlets. When asked about the incident by police, Winters replied that he took the pocketbook, but didn’t know why, said WBTV.

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