An elderly man stands accused of a string of purse snatching over the last month. The 64-year-old man with a pronounced limp eluded police for nearly a month as he moved around the Times Square and Midtown area, snatching purses in crowded diners and restaurants.
Police reviewed multiple instances of the man stealing purses in the same way, with his Panama hat and jacket draped over his arm to conceal the theft. The man would then noticeably limp away, each time sending another case for the file to Detective Michael Bia of the Manhattan South command.
After weeks of eluding police, he was caught in the act of stealing another purse at El Vez, a Mexican food restaurant near the World Trade Center. On July 14, the man attempted to steal another purse, but was seen by another patron who yelled for help. Employees of the restaurant blocked the door and ordered the man to stay seated in one of the booths until the police could arrive on the scene.
Upon being taken to the Midtown precinct, the man was shown security footage collected from many of his purse-snatching and other thefts. He admitted to being the individual in each of the videos. It is unclear at this time whether the man invoked his constitutional right to an attorney. Police indicated that the man was very cooperative when asked about his accused crimes, divulging that he had travelled to New York from Chile specifically to steal purses, and that he had planned to travel back just days after he was apprehended.
It is still unclear what the man’s motivations were, or whether his actions may have been taken under duress. All those charged with crimes here in the United States, whether they are citizens or not, have the guaranteed right to an attorney. An experienced attorney will fight to ensure that they are provided an excellent defense and that their rights are protected.