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Incidents involving purse snatchers reported at Walmart, Target and H-E-B stores in Frisco

Out of the three reports, Frisco police believe two of the incidents appear to be related as they happened within six minutes of each other.

FRISCO, Texas — The Frisco Police Department is investigating three incidents involving purse snatchers at different retail stores in the city since Saturday.

In a news release, police said the first incident happened around 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, inside the Walmart at 8555 Preston Road, near Main Street.

According to police, the victim told police that an unknown suspect stole her purse from her shopping cart while waiting in a check-out line. 

A good Samaritan, however, was near the front entrance when she saw the suspect running toward her with the purse.

Police said the good Samaritan grabbed the purse, which caused the suspect to fall to the ground. The suspect then fled the area.

The good Samaritan suffered minor injuries but was able to return the purse to its owner, according to police.

WFAA found that good Samaritan, makeup artist Angeline Pedrosa, who spoke about the incident Tuesday night. 

"I hear this woman screaming that someone stole her bag and 'stop him! He stole my bag!' " Pedrosa said. 

Pedrosa, who told WFAA she is from New York and used to crime, said she didn't hesitate. 

"I thought I could snatch it back from the thief because he was coming towards me. Cool as a cucumber, I just stuck my arm right in the straps, looped it, and was able to put it on my shoulder," Pedrosa said. 

"He tried to rip the bag off of my body, but I held my ground. I then toppled over, but I was holding onto the bag for dear life. The victim was frazzled, but I was like I have your bag! I'm so used to crime, I didn't flinch." 

"But I'm not used to crime in Frisco." 

The next incident happened around 9:37 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, in the parking lot of a Target at 4885 Eldorado Parkway, near Legacy Drive.

Police said a victim reported that she was loading bags into her car when a pickup truck pulled up, and a person exited the passenger side. According to police, the suspect grabbed the victim's purse from the shopping cart and got away in the pickup.

The vehicle was described as a dark gray Ford F250 with black wheels and chrome running boards.

Six minutes after this theft, police said another similar incident was reported in the parking lot of the H-E-B at 4800 Main Street.

Police said the 71-year-old victim reported that a suspect tried to grab her purse from around her neck. While attempting to grab the purse, the victim was pulled to the ground, police said.

According to police, the victim in this incident suffered injuries, including a bruised neck and a laceration to her hand.

April Haspel was in the H-E-B parking lot when the entire incident went down. 

"I saw the woman coming out of the store with her shopping cart, and the next thing I know, she is falling to the ground," Haspel said. "Then this guy is standing over her, pulling her purse, and at that point, it was around her neck." 

"I called 911, and everybody ran to help her, it was terrifying. Obviously, these guys were not afraid to do something so brazen in front of the store." 

Police said they believe the Walmart incident was isolated, while the other two appear to be related.

“Unfortunately, these incidents provide a sobering reminder that criminals are looking to prey on innocent victims in our city, especially as we get closer to the holidays,” Frisco Police Chief David Shilson said. “I would like to encourage all our residents to remain vigilant and don’t hesitate to call us if you see something suspicious.”

Haspel was shaken by the H-E-B incident. 

She said she moved from Dallas to Frisco because it was safer. A spokesperson for the department told WFAA that things like this don't normally happen in the city. 

As the holidays approach, Haspel said she's going to carry something more discreet besides a shoulder bag into stores. 

"I think I will definitely be more aware of my surroundings," Haspel said. 

Because good people like Pedrosa aren't everywhere. 

"Unfortunately, I'm not always going to be there to save your purse," Pedrosa said. 

Anyone with information on any of these incidents is asked to call the police at 972-292-6010 or submit a tip by texting FRISCOPD and the tip to 847411.

WFAA reached out for comment to H-E-B, Walmart and Target. 

Only Target responded by the time this article was written, asking that questions be directed to investigators. 

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