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SCV deputies probing spate of purse-snatchings

Posted: December 16, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 16, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Local sheriff’s deputies continue to probe a rash of “strong arm” purse-snatching robberies including the “knock down” of a woman in Canyon Country which brings the list of such cases locally to at least six in the last week, an average of about one a day.

All but one of the forceful purse-snatching cases now being investigated happened in Newhall.

On Dec. 9 at 6 p.m., deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to a robbery call on Solamint Road at Soledad Canyon Road, according to the incident report log maintained by deputies at the sheriff’s station.

A woman walking northbound on the east side sidewalk of Solamint, just north of Soledad, was attacked by a 6-foot man wearing a black “hoodie” sweatshirt who “walked up behind her and grabbed her purse,” deputies reported in the log.

The woman told deputies she was able to hold onto her purse but that the attacker dragged her about 5 feet along the sidewalk “pulling on the handle of the purse,” they wrote. Once the robber had the purse, he jumped into the passenger seat of a black coupe waiting nearby.

Deputies took photographs of the woman’s injuries.

“People need to be aware of their surroundings,” Sheriff’s Lt. Tom Bryski said Sunday when asked about the recent spate of “strong arm” purse-snatchings.

“We’re still looking for the suspects,” he said.

On Wednesday, a 35-year-old woman in Newhall was pushed to the ground by a purse-snatcher who ran with her purse to a waiting dark-colored sedan driven by a woman, a local sheriff’s spokesman said.

Shortly after 8:30 a.m., deputies responded to reports of a robbery that occurred near the intersection on Arcadia Street near Lyons Avenue, Sgt. Ron Price confirmed Wednesday.

Deputies alerted to the incident were told the woman was walking on Arcadia when a tall Hispanic man pushed her to the ground from behind, grabbed her purse and was last seen getting into a 4-door grey sedan.

That incident brought the number of strong arm “knock down” purse-snatchings in Newhall to five.

Two such attacks, according to deputies, occurred on Peachland Avenue — one at 10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 and another at 45 minutes after midnight Sunday, Dec. 8 into Monday, Dec. 9 — both involving a man wearing a blue zip-up Dodgers jacket.

In the latter Peachland attack, the victim told deputies she was walking to her vehicle on Peachland when she heard footsteps behind her and when she turned around she saw a Hispanic man 5-foot-7, about 170 pounds.

“He pushed her with both hands to the ground,” deputies wrote in their report. “She fell on her stomach.”

The suspect got into a “newer” model grey 4-door sedan. The getaway car was last seen heading north on Peachland towards Lyons Avenue.

Deputies concluded their report saying: “It should be noted there has been three recent similar crimes matching the suspect’s description and vehicle description.”

One of those earlier knock-down purse-snatchings happened shortly after 4 a.m. on Dec. 9 in the 24000 block of Walnut, also in Newhall. In that incident, a female victim reportedly hit her head when she was pushed to the ground. The two male suspects took her purse and fled in an unknown vehicle.

Investigators said Dec. 9 that at least two of the crimes may be linked “because it’s the same area and the same day (and) the same M.O.,” Bryski said.
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