Christmas Shopper Foils Would-Be Purse Snatcher

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Tristin Hunter is small in stature, indeed petite, but what she might lack in size, she makes up for with courage.

The 21-year-old service cashier at Davis-Moore Chevrolet was doing some Christmas shopping Friday evening at the Walmart at Kellogg and Greenwich Road. She heard a lady inside the store yelling for help.

But no one responded, she said. So, Hunter stepped in to pursue the purse snatcher and confronted him in a store aisle.

"And I just walked right up to him,” Hunter said. “He's a pretty big fella, too. I grabbed his jacket, and I went to grab for his wallet. He kind of fumbled with me for a minute. He pushed me backwards for a minute to walk away, and I ran after him."

Hunter is a military police officer in the US Army reserve, an MP. She credits her military training for helping to foil this civilian crime.

She describes the purse snatcher as about 5 feet, 11 inches tall and between 250 and 280 pounds, easily two and a half times her weight. Her quick reaction paid off.

"He was trying to steal credit cards and everything," Hunter said.

But with all the attention, the snatcher put the woman’s wallet on a shelf and made a break for it.

"He just tried to walk out Walmart like he was a normal customer," Hunter said.

She said a Walmart employee followed and got the man’s tag number.

“To my knowledge, the lady got everything back," she said.

Now it will be up to police to put the cuffs on the would-be purse snatcher, something Hunter hopes to do full-time in a law enforcement career. For now, she’ll continue as an Army MP until someone else screams for help.

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