Off-duty deputy nabs purse snatcher

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By Bryan Marshall


An off-duty Grant County Sheriff’s deputy was at the right place at the right time to nab a purse snatcher at the Dry Ridge Wal-Mart.

Deputy Andy Reeves was in plain clothes shopping at Wal-Mart around 4 p.m. July 9 when he heard what he believed was an argument in the store.

“As he heard it getting louder, he went out into the open area of the store and noticed a girl running and another girl a little bit behind her yelling, ‘Stop her. She stole my purse,’” said Sheriff Chuck Dills. “As he saw the girl running through the aisle, he started pursuing her on foot through the store. They went into the lawn and garden. She throws the purse to get rid of it and he catches her before she exits the store. At that point, he tells her that he is with the sheriff’s office and she is under arrest.”

Erin M. Arrington, 23, of Crittenden, was charged with theft by unlawful taking-purse snatching and third-degree criminal mischief.

Upon investigation, Dills said deputies learned Arrington also had two active warrants out on her — one from Grant County for possession of a controlled substance first degree-heroin and one from Boone County for trafficking a controlled substance first degree-heroin.

Arrington told deputies that she stole the purse because she was addicted to heroin, according to Dills.

The loss prevention department at Wal-Mart had been keeping an eye on Arrington because of suspicious actions, said Dills.

She had been in the store for up to two hours, pushing around a shopping cart with a few items inside.

“What she had in the cart was some frozen goods,” Dills said. “With the two-hour time period and her being arrested on top of it, those items had been damaged because they had thawed out. They weren’t able to be sold so that’s where the criminal mischief comes from.”

Arrington was lodged in the Grant County Detention Center.

Deputy Mike Wright is in charge of the investigation.

While it did not occur in this incident, Dills said female customers always need to make sure that they do not place their purse in a cart while shopping and turn away.

“I commend Deputy Reeves for stopping the purse snatching plus he apprehended a fugitive,” Dills said. “No matter off duty, we’re still sworn to uphold the law.”