Caught on Camera: Man steals single mother’s purse on Christmas Eve

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MUNCIE, Ind. – Police are searching for the man who stole a single mother’s purse while she was working.

Just after noon on Christmas Eve, Amanda Harrison was finishing up her shift at Tobacco Depot off West 8th Street in Muncie. She says she was getting into her van when a stranger grabbed her and pepper sprayed her.

“That is when I knew something wasn’t ok, this was not good. When I opened my eyes, he was gone with my purse running down the alley,” said Harrison.

Harrison says her face got most of the spray and her glasses blocked her eyes from it. While someone inside the shop called 911, Harrison knew exactly what she had to do.

“I followed him. I got in the van and I followed him,” said Harrison.

The thief was just a few blocks away, in the alleys between some homes.

“When I saw him, I slammed on the brakes and we did make eye contact for just a brief second and he was shocked that I was there and then he took off running,” said Harrison.

Police were able to pull pictures of the thief from a home surveillance camera in the area. In the pictures, you can see Harrison’s purse in his hands. Harrison had less than $20 in her purse.

“I was so angry. I was just so angry that Christmas Eve and somebody wanted to take what little I had to begin with and they just felt like it was theirs for the taking,” said Harrison.

This single mother is hurt but she’s still strong. Harrison has been back at work every day since the robbery and wants this thief where he belongs.

“This is not acceptable. You cannot just take what is not yours,” said Harrison.

Investigators tell FOX59 they are following up on leads but still asking for the public’s help. If you know anything that could help detectives, call the Muncie Police Department at 765-747-4838.

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