Police Search for Purse Snatcher in Luzerne County

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EDWARDSVILLE -- Officers spent the afternoon searching for witnesses and for stores with surveillance cameras. After the third purse snatching in broad daylight at the West Side mall in Luzerne County.

Police say one older woman was robbed in the parking lot around 1:30p.m. Monday afternoon.

Sgt. Hal Bond says the woman ended up at the Med Express urgent care on the other side of the plaza with injuries to her fingers because the thief ripped the purse straps out of her hand.

"It`s sad that it came to this that we have to watch for elderly females," says Sgt. Hal Bond. "All three were, and he`s obviously watching the parking lot, he`s waiting for them to get into their cars, and he`s picking them."

Officers say another purse snatching happened in the same lot just 24 hours earlier.

Marie Filipczyk says her niece was the victim. She's trying to cancel all of her bank and debit cards that were stolen inside the purse.

"They came from the passenger side, and they nabbed her purse scary, sure is. Its getting worse instead of better," says Filipczyk.

A third robbery happened about a week ago.

In all three cases, police say the snatchings were similar. The crook stole the purse from unlocked passenger doors as women were getting back into their cars.

Sandra Mattis says it's one of the reasons why she doesn't put her purse into the shopping cart or go to stores alone.

"I think people need mace or make sure you`re with somebody. Just be very ,very aware," says Mattis.

Officers say that the robber was quick. They don't have a good description of the crook. But in each case, the victims saw a silver sedan speed out of this parking lot after the snatchings

The woman who was robbed Monday afternoon, is expected to be okay.