Man accused in grocery store parking lot purse snatching

Port Orange Police say a man was arrested after stealing a purse from an elderly woman. 

Patricia Wardzinski says the theft happened Tuesday while she was walking out of Publix on Taylor Road.  The 73-year-old victim says her purse was sitting in a shopping cart, when a man came by on a bike and grabbed it. 

“I was just so upset I didn’t know what to do,” she explained. “I hollered, ‘Hey! That’s my purse!’"

Wardzinkski says someone called the police right away. In an arrest report, officers say when they got to the area, 27-year-old Paul D. Walker approached them at a nearby 7-Eleven, saying he had chased the thief and retrieved the purse. 

Officers say after reviewing the surveillance from Publix and talking to a witness, they determined Walker was the one who actually stole the purse. He was arrested on a charge of  theft and robbery/sudden snatching without a firearm or weapon. 

“All these people jumping into action and they caught him so fast - he never had the chance to get away,” Wardzinski said.