Alleged Purse-Snatching Granny Behind Bars

Turns traditional crime caper on its head

The story usually ends with granny’s purse getting stolen, but in this strange twist, granny is the one stealing, police say.

Marie Hall was behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of snatching purses from customers while they were shopping at several Lake Elsinore markets.

The 67-year-old woman was arrested at her home at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and booked on suspicion of five counts of burglary, according to jail records.

Deputies responded to a report of several purse snatchings at four Lake Elsinore supermarkets between July 3-5, but no suspect was caught, said sheriff's Sgt. Patrick Chavez.

A fifth purse-snatching report was made on July 6, when an employee at the Stater Bros. at 16750 Lakeshore Drive accused Hall of stealing a shopper's satchel from a shopping cart and detained her for deputies, according to Chavez.

Hall was taken into custody but later released because of unspecified medical issues, the sergeant said.

Meanwhile, investigators reviewed surveillance footage from the previous cases, which they allege clearly shows Hall either stealing a victim's purses or walking into stores with one purse and walking out with two, Chavez said.

When investigators went to her home on Tuesday, they discovered property allegedly belonging to all of the victims and took Hall into custody, he said.

Hall was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

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