A woman in Brandon, Man., is in custody in connection with a string of purse snatchings that mostly targeted elderly women.
The 51-year-old woman has been charged with theft under $5,000, robbery with violence and attempted theft in relation to a total of six incidents that were reported to police in the western Manitoba city.
In most of the incidents, which began Nov. 29, the suspect trolled parking lots outside local businesses and grabbed purses as people were loading groceries or other purchases in their vehicles, says Brandon police Sgt. Mike Pelechaty.
"All the incidents are brazen considering … they're well-populated areas and it's one-on-one contact," Pelechaty told CBC News on Wednesday.
In one case, the suspect drove up to someone to ask for directions, then tried unsuccessfully to steal the victim's purse through her car's open window.
Pelechaty said in another case, the suspect went to someone's house, claiming her car had broken down.
"The resident was a Good Samaritan and offered a ride to the suspect to another location in Brandon," he said.
"When they arrived at the destination, the suspect grabbed the victim's purse and fled from the vehicle."
None of the victims, most of whom were elderly women, was seriously injured, said Pelechaty.
The woman was arrested at her home early Tuesday morning. She appeared in court for a bail hearing later that day, according to police.