After purse snatching, Hampton police send reminder to holiday shoppers

Hampton police have an important reminder after they say a woman had her purse snatched on Black Friday.

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The holiday shopping season is in full swing and Hampton police have an important reminder after they say a woman had her purse snatched on Black Friday.

“When she was walking back to her vehicle the suspect actually ran up and snatched the purse out of her hands and took off running,” said Sergeant Matt Bond.

Officers say 57-year-old Andra Hammond took advantage the shopper in the Gabe’s parking lot off of Coliseum Drive.

“As he ran on foot toward the church there was a vehicle parked in the parking lot attempting to leave the area,” Bond added.

Police say Hammond tried to get in the car, but the three people inside got out and were able to wrestle away the purse. Hammond was arrested a short time later. He was charged with grand larceny.

“Within seconds one can become a victim if they are not aware of their surroundings,” Bond said.

That’s why police are warning shoppers to keep the basics in mind.

“If you don’t have your head up and you’re not looking around you can easily become a victim,” Bond added. “Especially if you are shopping at night, make sure you park in a well-lit area. Have your keys out and ready, so when you get to your car you can quickly get into your car. Lock yourself in your car.”

Police say they hope no one else becomes a victim, but they know it will happen again.

Hammond is currently out on bond. He is scheduled to make a court appearance Tuesday morning