Police: Bystanders help catch purse snatcher in Walmart parking lot

Published 10:38 am Friday, September 15, 2017

By Shavonne Walker


SALISBURY — Bystanders stepped in to help a woman whose purse was snatched in the Walmart parking lot Thursday.

Salisbury police charged Matthew Shane Winters, 24, with felony common law robbery.

According to a police report, a 63-year-old woman was walking through the Walmart parking lot shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday. She was near the garden center when a man came up behind her. The man, later identified as Winters, grabbed her purse from her shoulders and took off running, police said.

The woman ran after him and yelled that he had stolen her purse. She chased him up and down a couple of parking lot aisles, and bystanders also began chasing the man.

Winters was stopped by the bystanders and detained until authorities arrived, police Capt. Melonie Thompson said.

A Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputy was on the scene first, followed by a Salisbury police officer.

The woman recovered her purse. A police officer asked Winters why he snatched it and he said he didn’t know why.

Winters remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond.

Winters was convicted in 2014 of misdemeanor larceny and drug possession. He received a suspended sentence and probation and was ordered to perform community service.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.