Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A woman who was walking near downtown Syracuse in the middle of the work day Monday was pushed from behind and had her purse snatched.
But unlike many crime victims, this woman got her purse back when some unlikely crime fighters rushed to her rescue.
We're putting you “On The Lookout” for the purse snatcher who got away.
It happened at the corner of South Clinton and Adams streets.
The victim has some Good Samaritans to thank, including Steve Atkins, a traffic engineer, who was up on a ladder working on a traffic signal when he suddenly heard a woman screaming.
Atkins hopped off the ladder and started running toward her. He was in the middle of the street, when he came within inches of a young man on a bike who just snatched the woman's purse.
“I think he was scared about a big guy coming at him, so I think his reaction was… just get out of here as quickly as possible. A couple of my guys took of with him to try and catch up to him,” Atkins said.
The chase was on, but the purse snatcher got away. Atkins returned the purse to the 22-year-old victim who was slightly hurt and shaken. Syracuse Police Sgt. Tom Connellan took time to thank Steve and company for not looking the other way.
“Often we see crimes happening and people don't do anything. We really encourage people to still get involved and still help out. We really need more people to do that,” Sgt. Connellan said.
Police say there does not appear to be any pattern of purse snatching in the downtown area, but they would like to catch this young man before he strikes again.
Atkins told NewsChannel 9, “I can't even explain how aggravating it is, even the next day I’m upset that I didn't get the guy.”
Atkins says the suspect looked like he's probably a teenager, no older than 17 or 18. He was wearing dark clothing, a white ballcap, worn backwards, and he was riding a BMX bike.
If you have any information, call detectives at 442-5222.