Waterbury woman warns others after purse snatched while shopping

Tiasha Sands explained more about the incident that occurred in Waterbury at a plaza on Wolcott Road.
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 4:55 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2023 at 5:04 PM EDT
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WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) - A woman from Waterbury said she had a terrifying experience after her purse was ripped out of her hands while out shopping in the middle of the day.

Tiasha Sands exclusively told Channel 3 that the incident unfolded Wednesday in Waterbury at a plaza on Wolcott Road.

“I turn [and] pop my trunk. I put all my groceries away and the last thing I had to grab was my purse,” Sands said.

Sands said she wished that was the first thing she put away.

“A car comes up beside me, he was in the backseat, he’s trying to grab my purse so we both go for it,” Sands explained.

Sands held on to the bag, but said one of three men in a teal sedan grabbed the handle.

“I’m walking alongside the purse. He won’t let go,” Sands added.

Although Sands did not give up easily, she said the people in the car got the upper hand when they floored the gas.

Sands said that was how she fell and injured her knee.

After the thieves got ahold of her purse, it didn’t take long for them to use what was in it.

“They first went to the gas pump, then Target, then Taco Bell,” Sands said. “I did get an alert on my phone that my card was being used at Target.”

Waterbury police confirmed that they were investigating and had been looking through security footage. They said they arrested a 17-year-old juvenile and charged him with a litany of charges.

They also said they determined that the car the suspects used was stolen.

Police urged people to be aware of their surroundings when shopping and to limit the number of valuable items in their bags.

If someone gets into a tug-of-war situation, they said it’s safer to let the belongings go and to get a good description of the suspect from afar.

Sands said she canceled her credit and debit cards.

“Even though I’m brave, I’m actually terrified,” Sands said. “I’m just like in survivor mode.”