Manheim Township Police searching for suspected purse snatcher

MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. --- Police are asking for help from the public in identifying a woman they say stole three purses from shoppers inside the GIANT food store on Lititz Pike.

They say it happened in a span of a half hour from 12:30-1 p.m. Wednesday.

One purse was found discarded in the parking lot but was missing $500 in cash.

The other two purses, combining for a total of $450, remain missing.

Sgt. Michael Piacentino with the Manheim Township Police Department said it's "who" the purses belonged to that is "bothering" them.

"Every single one of these people is an elderly person and the one person did have their Life Alert pendant taken so now when they're home, needing the Life Alert system, they don't have access to that because that pendant is now gone because this person decided to steal their purse," said Sgt. Piacentino.

He said the suspect approached each woman's cart while they were looking at items in the store, swiping the purses while the carts were left unattended.

Manheim Township Police also say there was a fourth attempt to steal a purse but it was thwarted when the shopper noticed what was happening.

Shoppers at the GIANT on Thursday said they usually feel safe while shopping but do take precautions with their items.

"If you walk away, people are obviously going to see if they can grab something. I think it would be up to me to help make sure that doesn't happen," said Kim Parsons from East Lampeter Township.

"I keep mine on my shoulder or I never stray from my cart when my purse would be within someone's reach because nowadays, you cannot trust anyone," said MaryAlice Snopek from Lancaster.

If you recognize the woman in the surveillance footage, you are asked to contact the Manhiem Township Police Department.