Cell phone use leads to purse snatcher arrest - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Cell phone use leads to purse snatcher arrest

April 25, 2007

Albany -- A brazen purse snatcher grabbed a woman's bag outside a grocery store, than ran off laughing and mocking witnesses. Dougherty County Sheriff's investigators got the last laugh, and tracked him down through the victim's cell phone. Tonight he's in jail.

Charlotte Craddock says she never saw the man who snatched her purse from her shopping buggy at the Southern Family Markets parking lot. Charlotte Craddock said "when I lifted my hatch up and turned around to get my purse it was gone."

Behind the store at Hughey and Neuman Realty, three woman saw a man jump their fence and start rifling through a purse, and shouted at him. Leslie McClure said "I said drop that purse, what would your Mama say. Of course that's when he laughed at me."

The women say the purse snatcher calmly walked away, laughing and mocking them. Sharon Hughley said "he didn't seem to be very concerned that we had seen him and that we might call the Police."  Craddock said "he just laughed at them, and swung my purse."

Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigator Lt. Craig Dodd said "he's not laughing now." Sheriff's Investigators arrested 31 year old Kyle Coklow for the purse snatching Tuesday, thanks to quick thinking by the victim.

After her purse was snatched, Charlotte reported her credit cards stolen in minutes, but set a trap for the thief. Craddock said "I waited about an hour and a half, because he also had my cell phone in my purse, and I was hoping he was going to be using it, which he did."

When the cell phone records came in, Investigators zeroed in on Coklow. Lt. Dodd said "the subject used the victim's cell phone to call two different family members within a half an hour of stealing the purse. " Coklow still had one of the stolen credit cards in his pocket when he was arrested.

Craddock and the three witnesses all say this is an important lesson, reminding them that you have to guard your purse at all times, especially in a shopping cart. Craddock said "where have a cart with you, please take the little lock that you lock your children down in your buggy, and put it around your purse."

Craddock said she got her reminder the hard way.

Coklow is charged with robbery by sudden snatching, and charges of financial fraud are pending. He is being held in the Dougherty County jail.

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