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Good samaritans thwart Lawrence purse snatching

Jan. 16, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

BURLINGTON, Ohio -- Several good samaritans held a woman for Lawrence County sheriff's deputies Wednesday afternoon to thwart a purse snatching from an elderly woman at the Wal-Mart parking lot, according to Sheriff Jeff Lawless.

"The quick actions of bystanders assisted in the capture of this suspect," Lawless said. "Thankfully, there are concerned people that rushed to aid another who was in trouble. I thank them for what they did."

Sheriff's deputies responded to a robbery at the parking lot at 12:37 p.m. Wednesday.

An elderly Ironton woman had finished shopping and was trying to get into her vehicle when another woman ran up to her, assaulted her with her fists and then grabbed the victim's purse, according to a press release from the sheriff's office.

A struggle ensued over the purse until the attacker knocked the woman to the ground and ran off with the purse. The suspect then tried to run across the parking lot on foot.

At that point one man chased down the suspect and retrieved the purse. Several other bystanders helped him hold the woman until deputies arrived, according to the release.

Kelli Childers, 31, of Huntington, was arrested on charges of robbery and misdemeanor assault and taken to the Lawrence County Jail in Ironton. She is scheduled for a court appearance Friday morning in Lawrence Municipal Court, according to the release.

The victim didn't require medical attention at this time, according to the release. Her purse was returned to her.

After checking surveillance videos of the parking lot, deputies are searching for a second suspect, Lawless said. Someone driving a tan Ford Escape let the suspect out and left the scene before authorities arrived, he said.

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