Purse snatcher's strings tied

Posted: Sunday, May 09, 2010

The man arrested for snatching purses downtown earlier this week was in court Friday for arraignment, apologizing to the women he allegedly robbed despite advice from his mother that he remain quiet until the trial actually starts.

Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Nicholas Tyack, 29, is being charged with two felonies, one for theft and the another for fraudulent use of a credit card, in connection with purse snatchings that occurred in downtown Juneau on Tuesday. The felonies carry a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

Tyack was apologetic while standing before the judge.

"If I could take it back I would. ... If I could pay the person back in any way. ..." he said, before being hushed by his mother, who attended the arraignment.

The state recommended his bail be set at $5,000. Tyack, who said he has no ties to Juneau, was considered a flight risk. He has no prior convictions in Alaska.

Sheila Quandt, Tyack's mother, was asked by the judge to remain silent as she spoke out in court that her son had no prior arrest record.

"He has never done anything like this before," she said.

Tyack was identified by one of the victims. Police are still trying to identify the second victim.

The first incident occurred at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of Seward Street. The second incident happened about three hours later, though it's unclear if Tyack is being charged with that theft as well.

Several people contacted police about the second incident, saying a woman had been pushed to the ground by a man in his 20s or 30s with a Mohawk hair cut and wearing dark clothing.

A preliminary hearing has been set for May 17 at 10:30 a.m.

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