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Grocery Store Employee Saves The Day After Customer’s Purse Was Snatched

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — An unlikely hero at an Annapolis grocery store after a customer’s purse was snatched. The suspects are now behind bars.

Rochelle Ritchie has the details.

The suspects are facing multiple charges after a woman’s purse was snatched. They would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for a feisty grocery store employee.

A routine trip to the grocery store turned violent for an elderly woman in Annapolis after her purse was snatched.

“She was in line ready to pay for her groceries. This woman takes her pocketbook and attempts to run,” said Lt. TJ Smith.

The purse snatcher—later identified as Jamie Marie Reio—didn’t get far, thanks to a brave employee.

Sharon Slepicka was working at Graul’s Market when the unsuspecting elderly woman pulled into her lane to check out. Suddenly, she heard the woman scream.

“`Stop her, she took my purse!’ I looked up, saw her running out the door and I ran after her,” Slepicka said.

Sharon says she was able to grab hold of the woman’s shirt and bring her down, just as another employee stepped in to help before she could hop in the getaway car driven by Russell Richards.

“She was able to hold her and I was able to detain her,” said Alex Mahaffee.

The tag team duo brought the suspect back into the store and that is when she started begging for forgiveness.

“She said she was getting ready to lose her house,” said Mahaffey.

The getaway car took off but not before employees could copy down the tags.

“That getaway vehicle was observed by an MdTA police officer who was able to get that vehicle pulled over with the assistance of Anne Arundel County police,” said Smith.

Reio and Richards now sit behind bars, charged with robbery and assault.

Slepicka, who is set to retire in February, says while her job duties don’t call for police work, she’s never too scared to fight crime.

“I think she’ll learn her lesson in jail,” she said.

The suspects face assault, robbery and theft charges.

No one was hurt during the robbery and the purse was returned to its owner.

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