STOCKTON -- Numerous purse-snatching incidents Monday that included women and girls who were pushed or knocked down and dragged kept police busy throughout Stockton and prompted the department to issue some tips to avoid becoming a crime victim.
The first incident was reported at 7:06 a.m. in downtown Stockton. A 54-year-old woman told officers she was walking to work in the 300 block of North El Dorado Street from a nearby parking garage when she was pushed by a woman who demanded her purse.
When the victim yelled for help, the would-be robber -- described as in her 30s, white, 5 feet 4 and 130 pounds wearing a long blue jacket and jeans -- fled empty-handed, according to police.
Around 12:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of West March Lane -- between Pershing Avenue and Precissi Lane -- a 20-year-old woman was walking when a man with a red-dyed Mohawk haircut pulled her purse off her shoulder and got into the passenger seat of a waiting white GMC Yukon, which left.
Police described the man with the red Mohawk as white, in his 20s, 5 feet 11 and 170 pounds, last seen wearing a black hoodie, bluejeans and white shoes. The Yukon driver was described as a black man in his 20s with small twist-type dreadlocks.
Up in north Stockton at Hammer Lane and Lan Ark Drive around 2:06 p.m., an 18-year-old woman was approached by a man who attempted to pull her purse off her shoulder, but she held on. The man pulled the young woman to the ground and dragged her as she continued to hang on. He eventually gave up, let go and ran away.
Police reported the woman suffered minor abrasions but no property loss. They described the suspect as a white man in his 20s, 5 feet 9 and 170 pounds with short blond hair, wearing a white short-sleeve shirt and jeans.
A little more than an hour later in the 2300 block of West Hammer between Rosewood and Peppertree drives, a 16-year-old girl walking home had her purse pulled away from her and watched as the robber fled.
He was described as a white man, 6 feet tall with a thin build last seen wearing a black sweater, white undershirt and white shoes.
He also had a red Mohawk, and police are considering this and the March Lane incident connected.
Police Department spokesman Officer Joe Silva said purse snatching is considered a crime of opportunity.