Police: Beware of purse snatchers downtown

Posted: Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Juneau Police Department is advising residents to be cautious following two purse snatchings in the downtown area Tuesday evening.

"Personal safety is important," JPD spokeswoman Cindee Brown-Mills said. "Don't be afraid to offend somebody by crossing the street if you don't want to walk near them."

Brown-Mills was commenting on the fact that both victims appeared to be walking alone.

The first incident occurred at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of Seward Street. The suspect was described as a Caucasian male between 25-30 years old, with reddish-brown hair, a small beard, and wearing a dark jacket and blue jeans. The man fled toward 4th Street.

The second incident occurred at 7:10 p.m. in the 100 block of N. Franklin Street. Police received multiple reports of a female victim being pushed down by a man, between 20-30 years old, with a Mohawk hair cut and wearing dark clothing. The man fled on foot and police were not able to locate the suspect or victim.

Police officers detained a man on Gold Street matching the description of the second suspect around 8 p.m. on Tuesday. He was identified, photographed and released. The victim from the second incident never contacted the police.

"We're pretty much stuck unless someone calls in," Brown-Mills said. "We are definitely asking for more information, we have crime line, 586-4243, if someone wants to remain anonymous."

Police are advising that purses be worn over the shoulder and against the body for more security, and for people to be aware of what they are doing and who is around.

Anyone with information concerning purse snatchings are encouraged to contact police at 586-0600.

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