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Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Suspect sought in Tampa purse snatching

Tampa police are looking for a man who snatched the purse of a woman at a bus stop and walked away after attempting to flee on a HART bus.

The robbery occurred about 1 p.m. Friday as the woman sat on a bench at North Florida Avenue and Patterson Street, police said.

The man walked up to her and grabbed the purse from her shoulder, but the woman would not let go, police said. The man told her, “Give me your purse so I don’t have to hurt you,” then ripped the purse from her grip, police said. The man placed the purse in a backpack he was holding.

A Hillsborough Area Regional Transit bus then pulled up, and the man entered the vehicle, police said. However, the bus did not leave after the woman told the driver what happened, police said.

The suspect then exited the bus and fled to the north on Florida Avenue.

Police released a bus surveillance photo of the suspect. The man was described by police as black, in his 30s and heavy set.

Anyone with information about the robbery was asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477) or text “CSTB” with the tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Anonymous tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.

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