By Michael R. Moser
A Cumberland County woman shopping who had her purse snatched screamed and loudly protested the crime, resulting in witnesses providing police with a description of the culprit that led to the arrest of a suspect.
"She did all the right things," Crossville Police Det. Bill Padgett said. "As soon as it happened, she screamed and pointed at the woman as she ran off with her purse and witnesses did the rest."
Charged with theft of less than $500 is Jenetta Cheryl Harris, 45, 5177 Round Mountain Rd., Allardt. She may be facing additional charges.
"Det. Bill Padgett was one of the officers that arrived on the scene and he recognized her as being his suspect in several purse thefts that he was working," Ptl.Tim Vandever wrote in his report.
Police added in reports that the 1998 Ford Windstar matches the description of a vehicle observed in videos where other purse thefts took place, and that the suspect on Thursday was wearing the same clothes that were observed being worn by a suspect in previous incidents.
Last Thursday around 1:35 p.m., Mable Christian, 67, told police that a woman grabbed her purse. When Christian created a commotion, the suspect dropped the purse and contents, valued at $350, and fled from the area of Kroger in Highland Square Shopping Center, and ran toward Tractor Supply Co.
Vandever was not far away and when he pulled his police cruiser into the parking lot, he spotted a woman fitting the description on the sidewalk in front of Goody's and took her into custody.
The patrolman said the woman was uncooperative at first, and provided him with a false name and date of birth. Several other officers arrived on the scene, including Lt. Tony Davis and Padgett, and the woman was eventually charged.
Statements were obtained from the victim and witnesses and the victim's purse was returned to her.