80-year-old woman hurt after getting purse snatched in Niles

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 11:25 AM EDT
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UPDATE: Niles Police say a $500 reward is being offered by some concerned citizens for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect.

**WARNING: Some viewers might find the video attached to this story disturbing.**

NILES, Mich. (WNDU) - An 80-year-old woman was the victim of a purse snatching from a suspect on a BMX-style bike last week in Niles, and it was all caught on camera.

It happened on Thursday, April 14, around 2:05 p.m. just outside of the Methodist Church parking lot on the south side of Cedar Street east of Third Street.

Police say the suspect approached the woman on the sidewalk while riding the bike and grabbed her purse strap as he rode past her, causing her to be thrown to the ground. The suspect then jumped off the bike and jerked the purse from the victim.

Police say the suspect then suspect then fled on the bike eastbound on Cedar Street, then southbound on Fourth Street before abandoning the bike and fleeing on foot.

(Niles Police Department)

The 80-year-old victim suffered aggravated injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The incident appalled nearby business owners, like Al Casperson and Jim Morris.

“Would you do that to your grandmother? What would you do to somebody who did that to your grandmother? And it just - it’s nonsensical. Yet, like I said, I don’t even have words for it,” said Casperson, owner of Casperson’s Books.

Morris, who owns Jim’s Smokin’ Cafe, had this to say: “Yeah, it’s just ridiculous. I saw it when it first came out, hit online. I’m dumbfounded.”

If you recognize this suspect, or have any other information on this incident, please call the Niles Police Detective Bureau at 269-683-0404. Anyone with information can also text TIPNILESPD and your tip to: CRIMES (274637), or online at All tips through Tipsoft remain anonymous.

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