Ellsworth woman helps ‘hero’ replace lost iPod

Posted June 30, 2010, at 8:52 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — After hearing that a local man lost his iPod chasing a suspect who snatched a women’s purse as she left a convenience store Sunday night, an Ellsworth woman decided to help set up a bank account for donations to replace the device.

“It’s wonderful that someone stepped forward” to help the woman, she said Wednesday, asking to remain anonymous.

“They are the heroes in this,” she added, referring to Bangor roommates Joseph Burke and Tyler Heber, both 24, who were on a bicycle ride around the city and stopped at the State Street One Stop convenience store at around 8 p.m. Sunday to get a drink.

Burke held the door for Hermon resident Linda Davis, 56, who has two artificial knees and rheumatoid arthritis and was limping slightly as she left the store carrying a hot coffee and a cup of ice.

Seconds later, Skowhegan resident Stephen Frappier, 24, grabbed the purse, sending the drink and ice flying, and took off running with the handbag, according to police.

Burke and Heber witnessed the theft and immediately took off in pursuit. Heber recovered the purse, and Burke followed Frappier until police arrived to arrest him for robbery.

During the chase, Burke lost his iPod Nano.

Catching the purse snatcher and being able to return the purse to Davis was reward enough and made up for him losing his iPod, Burke said Wednesday.

“It’s not that big of a deal,” he said.

The Ellsworth woman, who wanted to be identified only by her first name, Bonnie, called Bangor police asking if they could accept donations to replace Burke’s digital music player and was told that was not allowed.

Then “I had him go to Bangor Savings Bank and open up an account for anybody who wants to give,” she said.

Burke said he is humbled by her actions.

“I do appreciate it, even though it’s not necessary,” he said.

Those who wish to make donations can drop them off at the bank or send them to Bangor Savings Bank, c/o Joseph Burke, P.O. Box 930, Bangor 04402.

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