Ridge Meadows RCMP have arrested a man in relation to three recent purse-snatching incidents in Maple Ridge, as well as a second person allegedly responsible for fraud offences.
On Nov. 7, RCMP warned about three purse-snatching incidents and attempts, all involving a young male suspect on a bike, and the Street Enforcement Unit became involved.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, police arrested two suspects: a 34-year-old Maple Ridge man alleged to be responsible for the purse snatchings; and a 34-year-old Maple Ridge woman allegedly responsible for fraud offences.
“This was a complex investigation which takes time and, due to public cooperation and great teamwork, this case was resolved in a relatively quick manner,” said Ridge Meadows RCMP Sgt. Brenda Gresiuk.
Police made the two arrests in the late afternoon, then worked late into the night, she added, in order to execute a search warrant on a residence.
The man is facing: one count of robbery; two counts of fraud; two counts of using stolen credit cards; two counts of fraud under $5,000.
He was remanded in custody and is appearing in court on Wednesday.
The woman is facing: one count of using stolen credit card; and one count of fraud.
The woman was released and her next court appearance is Dec. 10.
The first purse-snatching incident was on Sunday, Oct. 28. At around 5 p.m., a 64-year-old woman from Pitt Meadows woman was shopping in a store in the 20300-block area of Dewdney Trunk Road when a male walked past her and grabbed her purse.
She yelled and chased after him and the suspect dropped the purse, riding off on a bike.
On Sunday, Nov. 4, at around 4:15 p.m., a 77-year-old Maple Ridge woman was walking through a parking lot near 224th Street and Dewdney Trunk Road, where an unknown man riding a bike came up behind her and attempted to swipe her purse off her shoulder.
He was unsuccessful.
Then on Monday, Nov. 5, at around 7:30 p.m., a 48-year-old Maple Ridge woman was walking on the sidewalk near 224th St. and Dewdney Trunk Rd., talking on her phone, when a male riding a bike came up behind her and snatched her purse.
The purse was later recovered with cash and credit cards missing.
In all incidents, the suspect is described as a slim, young Caucasian man, between 16 and 20 years old and riding a dark coloured bike, possibly with green rims.
Police are still trying to determine if there is more than one suspect.
Police are reminding the public to be aware of your surroundings and consider several safety tips:
• do not carry large amounts of cash;
• get your head out of the headphones and listen to what’s going on around you;
• if carrying a purse, hold it close to the body, like a football;
• Report any suspicious circumstances immediately to police by calling 911 or the local non-emergency number at 604-463-6251.