Purse Snatcher Spree in Hazleton

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Women walking in downtown Hazleton are potential crime targets these days. In less than two weeks, five woman have been attacked and their purses stolen. Police believe the same man is the thief.

Hazleton Police said so far the bandit has only used his hands and speed to strike.

"So far we have had only some minor injuries of other people involved but that`s always a concern for us if he begins brandishing weapons, knives, firearms that`s always a concern," said Lt. John Leonard.

What disturbs some people is the fact that all of the purse snatchings have been done in broad daylight.

Jessica Calderon of Hazleton said it's not good that the thief is taking chances like that.

"That`s not good because it's dangerous. We have a lot of things in our purse, no money but all the important papers in there," said Calderon.

Ashley Uca of Hazleton hopes police track down the purse snatcher.

"I think that Hazleton's getting worse and there is nothing you can change about that and i don't know if there is something they can do i wish they would do it," said Uca.

Lt John Lenoard said officers haveĀ  increased their patrols in downtown and do have some advice to prevent becoming a target. "try walking in groups of two or more. Put your cash or other valuables in your pockets. He seems to be looking for an opportunity with the purses he's looking for a quick grab and getaway."

Investigators said they have a few leads but are asking for the public's help. If you have any information about the rash of purse snatchings Hazleton Police would like you to call them.