Good Samaritans chase alleged purse-snatcher in La Habra

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An alleged purse-snatcher who robbed an 82-year-old woman in La Habra Sunday was arrested with the help of two Good Samaritans.

An alleged purse-snatcher who robbed an 82-year-old woman in La Habra Sunday was arrested with the help of two Good Samaritans.

Police say 25-year-old Alfredo Lezama allegedly grabbed the woman's purse as she walked home from church around 2 p.m.

"She was approached by a male suspect who ran up to her and snatched her purse from her arm," said La Habra police Sgt. Jose Quirarte.

Surveillance video shows Lezama running down the street in front of La Habra Auto Sales, located at 650 South Beach Boulevard. About 20 seconds later, the elderly victim is seen running after the suspect.

Two men are also spotted in the video, following the suspect in a car. The Good Samaritans cut the suspect off in the parking lot of the used car dealership.

"I hear a guy, a gentlemen, saying, 'Drop the purse, drop the purse,'" said Charles Farley, owner of La Habra Auto Sales.

Farley said Lezama picked up a seven-foot piece of rebar, but the two Good Samaritans quickly stepped in.

"The [Good Samaritan] was like a really brawny guy with big shoulders," Farley said. "He looked like a linebacker. The next thing you know I hear somebody being slammed up against my Toyota Sienna. I hear a boom and he's up against my door and he drops the purse."

One of the Good Samaritans threw the purse in the opposite direction -- away from the suspect.

Farley said he didn't realize what the Good Samaritans had done until he looked at his surveillance video.

"It happened so quickly, I was just attending to the victim and calling the police," Farley said. "She just was happy that she got her purse back. She said, 'Thank you, I'm OK.'"

The two Good Samaritans disappeared just as quickly as they arrived.

Alfredo Lezama, 25, of La Habra was arrested on suspicion of robbery Sunday, March 29, 2015.


Lezama was arrested by La Habra police only a few blocks away. He was booked on suspicion of robbery and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. He is expected to make his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Police say they want to talk to the Good Samaritans, not just to get their statements, but to thank them. Farley says he also wants to meet them.

"These two guys stepping up to the plate, just being like superheroes, and just taking care of business and helping out an elderly lady -- it doesn't get much better than that," Farley said.

Anyone who recognizes the Good Samaritans was urged to contact the La Habra Police Department at (562) 383-4347.


Related Topics:
purse snatchingarrestgood samaritanrobberysurveillance videoLa Habra
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