Police arrest man accused of stealing 94-year-old woman’s purse in Lawrence

LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - A Lawrence man was arrested after police say he snatched a purse from a 94-year-old woman who was sitting in a car in the parking lot of Walgreen’s Pharmacy on Wednesday afternoon.

Officers responding to a report of an unarmed robbery at the store at 220 South Broadway learned the woman was waiting outside for her daughter when the suspect suddenly snuck up, snatched her purse, and ran off, according to the Lawrence Police Department.

The suspect, later identified as Taylor Matkivich, 26, was found running along railroad tracks that run adjacent to the parking lot, police said. Officers stopped him and placed him under arrest.

Surveillance video led to Matkivich’s arrest.

“He’s a panhandler, obviously in and around the stores, this and that,” Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque said. “Obviously trying to be an opportunist in this case, seeing an elderly woman. There were a million different ways he could’ve gone but the cameras were key in this regard.”

The woman’s purse was recovered with its contents intact. She was uninjured.

“She’s a very strong woman, and she’s OK,” Vasque said. “(She) got her purse back and all the contents, so it turned out as best it could.”

Matkivich is expected to be arraigned Thursday in Lawrence District Court on charges of unarmed robbery of a person over 65 and trespassing.

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