Two local residents helped Richmond Hill police apprehend an alleged purse snatcher Monday.
According to police, Ryan Hoeben, who has a Tennessee license but said he was staying in Richmond Hill, reached through the sunroof of a Richmond Hill resident’s vehicle and grabbed her purse while she was in the post office lobby mailing a package.
The woman reportedly looked out the post office window and saw Hoeben tampering with her vehicle before going out and seeing that her purse was missing from the car seat.
She confronted Hoeben, who denied taking the purse. When she told him she called police, he allegedly ran. Two Richmond Hill residents who saw what was happening took action.
Witness Eddie Cohn ran after Hoeben while fellow witness Peter Wolf followed the chase in his vehicle."When the guy (Hoeben) got to the CVS parking lot, I saw another guy in his car (Wolf) and hollered for him to grab him," Cohn said.
Wolf reportedly tackled Hoeben and restrained him until police arrived. Hoeben was arrested and charged with entering auto with intent to commit theft. The purse was allegedly recovered in the trunk of the vehicle Hoeben was driving while the woman’s cell phone was recovered near CVS.
Cohn said someone on the scene referred to him as a hero, but he denied being one.
"I’m just like anyone else around here," Cohn said. "That’s just the way I was raised. My parents taught me to do the right thing and not to stand around and do nothing while something like this happens."
"We do appreciate what these two men (Cohn and Wolf) did and I want to commend them," RHPD Major Mike Albritton said.
Albritton said he does not generally recommend for citizens to get involved, “but in this case it turned out fine and was helpful to us.” He said it can be dangerous as suspects are often armed.