New Hampshire (Pat Grossmith-Union Leader) – A purse-snatching at the Mall of New Hampshire was thwarted Monday night when a crowd of Sears’ employees, mall security staff and shoppers chased the thief into the parking lot and held him until police arrived.
The accused thief, Trevor Drew, 21, of 314 Dubuque St., didn’t submit quietly. As the crowd moved in and encircled him, Drew grabbed a wooden stake and allegedly swung it, hitting Robert Barberian, 35, of New Boston, in the head with it.
Barberian’s glasses were scratched in the incident and he suffered bruises to his eye, according to police.
The incident began just before 7 p.m. when a woman shopping at Sears screamed out, “My purse. My purse.” She had put it down on the floor while looking through clothing racks, felt a bump and looked up to see Drew running off with her purse, police said.
Barberian, who was shopping in the store, took off after the fleeing purse-snatcher after hearing the woman’s screams as did Sears’ employees and Mall of New Hampshire security.
The group chased the purse-snatcher into the parking lot where initially a Sears employee caught up to him. He grabbed onto the purse but Drew snatched it back and hit him in the head with it, police said.
The two tussled over the bag and the employee, who was not injured, managed to take the purse back and later return it to its owner, police said.
Barberian was the next to come in contact with Drew who police said was running around in circlesin the lot as the crowd began closing in on him from all directions. Cornered, Drew grabbed a wooden stake and hit Barberian in the head with it, Tessier said.
A mall security officer blocked the stake when Drew swung it at him as well, she said, resulting in only a glancing blow to his head.
A second Sears employee then moved in and grabbed the stake from Drew while the security officer tackled him to the ground, detaining him with the help of other security officers despite Drew’s continued attempts to escape.
Drew is charged with robbery, two counts of simple assault and criminal mischief.
Source for story: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20111129/NEWS03/111129915/-1/news