GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Kent County sheriff’s deputies are looking for the person who stole a 70-year-old woman’s purse at a shopping center south of Kentwood.
It happened shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday along Marketplace Drive SE off Kalamazoo Avenue in Gaines Township, where there are stores including a Meijer, Aldi and Target.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department said the Kentwood woman was putting groceries in her car when a “younger male” ran up and grabbed her purse out of her cart.
The woman was not hurt.
Deputies say the young man ran away and got in a waiting stolen Kia, where someone was waiting to drive him away. The woman’s credit cards were later used at other stores in the area.
The sheriff’s department says this is the third such purse snatching it has investigated in recent months and it believes “several people” are involved in similar thefts. There has also been an uptick in thefts of Kias this year — not just in West Michigan, but also around the country.
Anyone with information about any of the purse snatchings or people who may have been involved is asked to call investigators at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
The sheriff’s office reminded people to be vigilant about their purses while shopping.
“Make sure you’ve dealt with your purse before you start to unload your cart,” Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young previously said. “If it’s possible then don’t bring a large purse to the store, maybe perhaps keep your wallet or belongings in your pocket.”