Police have seen no shortage of purse snatchings over the years, but one that happened in Parksville Wednesday was particularly unfortunate, says RCMP Sergeant Darrell Robertson.
The incident took place on Moilliet Street in Parksville at about 12:50 p.m. when a 32-year-old Parksville woman was surprised by a man riding a mountain bike, who rode up from behind, snatched her purse and raced off.
The suspect was last seen on his bike riding on Morison Avenue toward the Parksville downtown area.
Police raced to the scene and conducted immediate patrols in the area, but they were unable to find the thief.
The suspect is described as; male, wearing a beige down-style jacket, dark jeans and a baseball cap.
Robertson said the stolen purse was described as orange, with a snake skin pattern.
The purse contained identification, cash and a matching change purse.
“The victim in the theft was not physically injured, but is an individual who is less fortunate than many in our community,” Robertson said.
“The theft of her cash has placed a heavy burden on her during this holiday season.”
Robertson stressed this type of incident is rare in the Parksville area, but police are appealing to the public to help identify the suspect, to ensure he does not strike again.
In the meantime, Robertson had a few tips to help residents avoid being a victim of a purse snatching.
“To reduce the chance of becoming a victim of this crime, be aware of your surroundings, shorten the strap on purses and bags, and hold purses and bags tightly and close to the body,” he said.
Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or may be familiar with the cyclist is requested to contact the Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.