Victim chases purse snatcher out of Rockland Walmart

Posted Sept. 27, 2012, at 11:49 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 30-year-old Massachusetts man is behind bars after he allegedly snatched a purse from a customer in Walmart and then assaulted her after she chased him into the adjacent woods.

Stephan Norton was arrested Wednesday by Rockland police and charged with Class A robbery.

According to Rockland Police Chief Bruce Boucher, Norton removed a purse from a customer’s shopping cart while in the department store shortly after 10:30 a.m. Norton then went into a bathroom and removed the contents of the purse.

As he was attempting to leave the store, the woman identified Norton and confronted him about the theft, the chief said.

Norton walked out of the store, into the parking lot and then into woods adjacent to Walmart. The woman followed him and grabbed him in an attempt to hold him until Rockland police officers, who had been called, arrived.

Norton shoved the 30-year-old victim and ran farther into the woods, according to the the chief. The woman was not injured, Boucher said.

Norton was apprehended a few hours later in Rockport by the Rockport Police Department. The chief said Norton was on foot and had the items from the purse in his possession.

Rockland police interviewed him at its station and then took him to the Knox County Jail in Rockland. Norton remains at the jail and is scheduled for his initial court appearance in Rockland District Court on Friday.

Camden police also assisted in the case, the chief said.

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