December 4, 1997

Witnesses To Purse Snatching Give Chase, Apprehend Suspect Motorist Driving Truck Gives Lift To Security Officers Pursuing Man

Amy Scribner Staff writer

A Spokane man found himself in jail Monday night after witnesses thwarted what they said was an attempt to snatch a 69-year-old woman’s purse.

Eric Anthony Heaton, 28, 3006 W. Southloop, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree robbery.

The woman told Spokane County sheriff’s deputies that she and her 75-year-old husband were walking out of Shopko at 4500 S. Regal about 6:15 p.m. Monday when a man came up from behind them and grabbed her purse.

He also seized a shopping bag she was carrying containing a new shirt, sheriff’s spokesman Dave Reagan said.

The woman’s husband uses crutches and she has knee trouble, so they were walking slowly, she said.

She told deputies she had her purse strap wrapped twice around her arm, and the man jerked on it until he pulled it free.

Two store security officers and another witness chased the man around the back of the store, where the suspect threw down the purse and bag near a Dumpster and fled.

The security officers continued chasing the suspect. They were picked up by a woman driving a truck and rode in the back of the truck while they pursued the suspect across Regal, Reagan said.

They caught up with him near Payless Drug, captured him and held him until city police, the nearest available units, arrived and took him into custody.

Reagan said sheriff’s deputies arrived to find the suspect’s still-running vehicle parked near Shopko. The rear license plate had been covered with a magazine, he said.

The purse and shirt were returned to the victim.

Although she complained of an injured arm and difficulty breathing, she declined medical treatment.

Teens arrested in cars thefts

Two Spokane teens were arrested early Friday near the Cheney city limits in a pair of stolen vehicles, said sheriff’s spokesman Dave Reagan.

Eighteen-year-old Eric Richard Sciamanda, 2301 W. Pacific, was arrested about 1 a.m. on suspicion of first-degree theft. A 14-year-old boy was booked into the Spokane County Juvenile Detention on suspicion of firstdegree possession of stolen property.

The two suspects and a second juvenile were accused of stealing a 1988 Oldsmobile Calais from a South Hill address after finding it parked with the keys in the ignition.

Deputies allege that after Sciamanda dropped the second juvenile off downtown, he and the 14-year-old drove around the West Plains, Reagan said. They then found a 1988 Chevrolet Blazer in the 24000 block of South Carmen, also with the keys in the ignition, Reagan said.

The two were following each other in the stolen vehicles until spotted and stopped by Cheney police, Reagan said.

Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Johnson took custody of the pair at the scene.

, DataTimes

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