An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer in Palm Springs chased a purse snatcher who ran off with his wife’s handbag from a sidewalk cafe, and police recovered it.
The suspect remained at large today, after having disappeared Saturday night into a drainage area at Baristo Road following the theft. It was reported at 8:15 p.m., Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Kovaleff said in a written statement.
The unidentified CHP officer and his wife were dining at the front patio of the Chop House on South Palm Canyon Drive where the wife had her purse on the table, Kovaleff said.
A tall, thin white man wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans passed by and grabbed the purse, prompting the officer to run after him while calling 911 on his cellular phone.
The suspect ran into an alleyway behind the restaurant on Indian Canyon Drive during the chase, then ran into the drainage area, Kovaleff said.
Witnesses tipped officers about where the suspect went, and police set up a perimeter in the 300 block of South Calle El Segundo, the sergeant said.
Officers found the purse contents dumped in the courtyard of a nearby apartment building, and the purse itself in a planter behind some bushes, Kovaleff said.
All of the contents were also recovered, he said.