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Tulsa woman captures purse snatcher with speed

A Tulsa woman turned into a world-class sprinter Tuesday night to stop a man who stole her purse.

This "purse snatcher-catcher" isn't what you might expect, she's about five-feet tall and barely weighs 100 pounds. But, as News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright found out, she might be small, but she was mighty.

Taima McDowell, like most shoppers, put her purse into her shopping basket, then, looked the other way for a moment, just long enough for someone to snatch it. “I turn around and my purse is gone and I was like, omigosh. I just knew it was this guy who was walking slowly out of the store. Someone I just knew it was him.”

That’s when Taima's old track days from Union High kicked in. she raced out of the store after the man, through the parking lot to some apartments about 600 yards away, where she caught up to him. “I just jumped on his back, put my arm around his neck and kicked him in the back and pulled him to the ground and yelled, in a man's voice, 'give me my purse.’”

At this point, the purse snatcher gave up and said, here, take your purse. He even said, I can't believe how fast you are, before he high-tailed out of here before police arrived. Taima had run so fast, she'd run right out of her shoes at the beginning of the chase. She knows things could've turned out differently if the man had had a knife or gun, but, isn't dwelling on that, only the excitement of standing up for herself.

“It was just a really cool thing that I didn't have my purse stolen." Taima's purse snatcher got away, but, after this, he may want to think twice before trying to continue his life of crime. Police are glad this story had a happy ending, but, don't encourage people to chase criminals by and large. Taima and the other witnesses did get a great description of the man, which will make it easier to find him.

Taima says the Albertson's employees were great, picking up her shoes and catching up to her to make sure she was safe.
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