Purse Thieves Caught in the Act

Modesto, CA– Three suspects were arrested after officers witnessed a purse theft.  Two of the three suspects have been linked to prior incidents.

On October 16, 2013 at about 1:18 PM officers from the Modesto Police Department were conducting surveillance on a black Honda believed to be involved in recent purse thefts.  Officers were in a parking lot in the 4100 block of Dale Road when they saw the Honda drive by the victim’s shopping cart.  One of the suspects reached out of the passenger window and grabbed the victim’s purse as she was loading groceries into her vehicle.  As the suspects were followed out of the parking lot, the victim’s purse was thrown out of the window.  Officers stopped the Honda and three suspects were arrested.  During the arrest, officers found an 8-month-old baby in the back seat.

Danyel McGee 37-years-old of Modesto, Edward Briggs 19-years-old of Modesto, and Michael Franklin 53-years-old of Modesto were all arrested for grand theft, child endangerment and conspiracy.  McGee and Briggs were further identified as the responsible suspects in two purse thefts on October 13th and charged with an additional count of grand theft and conspiracy.

It appears the suspects were targeting women who were leaving their purses in shopping carts.  A theft such as this only takes a second to commit.  While you cannot predict when or if you will be a victim, you can take these easy steps to reduce your chances.

  • Be alert to your surroundings and to those around you.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Move confidently and at a steady pace.  Make eye contact.
  • Avoid carrying a purse.  Instead place your cash, credit card and identification in your front pocket.
  • If you need to carry a purse, hold it securely between your arm and body.  Never leave unattended in a shopping cart, on a counter or on the seat of your car.
  • Be a good witness.  License plate numbers, even partial ones, and physical descriptions of a suspect can be a big help in solving a crime.
  • Report all crimes and suspicious activity to police immediately at 552-2470.