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LONG BEACH : GTE Lineman Helps Catch Purse-Snatching Suspect

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A GTE employee was hailed as a hero Friday for helping police catch a man who allegedly snatched a purse from a 98-year-old Long Beach woman on her way to deposit money she had received for her birthday.

“She was heading to the bank when the guy just came up and grabbed it from her,” said Long Beach Police Sgt. Chuck Higley. She was unhurt.

The woman turned 98 on Sunday and had about $100 in cash in the purse, Higley said.

After being accosted about 4 p.m. Thursday in the 200 block of Long Beach Boulevard, the woman flagged down a police officer, who broadcast a description of the suspect.

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Meanwhile, Scott Jeffers was working on a telephone pole when he saw a man run past with a purse under his arm, Higley said. Jeffers came down the pole, learned of the robbery and told police where he had seen the man run.

Two Long Beach police bicycle patrol officers soon found Patrick Walker, 36, in a nearby alley in the 400 block of East 3rd Street and arrested him, Higley said.

“It is through cooperative efforts such as this that we can make an impact on crime in our city,” he said.

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