CEDAR FALLS – Prosecutors are reviewing a September incident where a bystander with a gun chased a purse snatcher who was fleeing a Cedar Falls store.
The incident played out in front of parking lot full of witnesses who called police after seeing the gun. And in the end the thief escaped, said Chief Craig Berte with the Cedar Falls Police Department.
According to the police report, a man with a weapons permit was sitting in his car outside Ross Dress For Less, 727 Brandilynn Blvd., while his wife was shopping around 6:45 p.m. Sept. 21.
He noticed a person dart from the store and then look back toward the business. Two employees then exited, and the man confirmed with the workers that someone had just stolen a purse. He followed the suspect to a car, pulled out his handgun and told him to get out of the vehicle, Berte said.
“The guy burns out and leaves,” Berte said.
In the commotion, no one took down the license plate, police said.
The armed man then put away his weapon and returned to his own car.
Cedar Falls officers responding to the gun call arrived a short time later and sorted out the situation, and the permit holder wasn’t charged by police.
Investigators have requested surveillance camera footage in an effort to identify the purse snatcher.