Police: Prolific purse snatcher at Fred Meyer, WinCo arrested

Tyler Hodge, jail booking photo

A prolific purse snatcher was caught after his latest robbery, the sixth in just over a month, outside a Fred Meyer store, according to Gresham police.

Police said since June 17, a suspect has been driving up to women and forcibly taking their purses outside Fred Meyer and WinCo stores.

In most cases, the suspect strikes while the women are loading groceries into their car, according to investigators.

On Monday, 39-year-old Tyler Hodge was arrested on multiple charges of robbery and theft.

Police responded to Fred Meyer, 2497 S.E. Burnside Road, at 11:45 a.m. Monday. A woman reported that her purse had just been taken from her shopping cart as she was loading groceries into her car.

The suspect description, location, time of day and method of the crime were all consistent with the previous cases.

An officer was already in the area of WinCo, 2511 S.E. First St., looking for a suspect in anticipation of another robbery.

After the latest robbery call was dispatched, that officer, Sgt. Rick Wilson, went to the Minute Mart on Northwest Orient Drive because the credit cards of previous victims had been used at that location.

Wilson located a vehicle matching the one belonging to the suspect and spotted a woman's purse inside that matched the most recently stolen purse.

Investigators learned the person associated with the vehicle made a charge using the victim's card at the Minute Mart, then went to the Lucky Deli next door.

Officers found Hodge, who lives in Boring, in the deli and arrested him without incident.

Police said he is connected to at least six purse snatching cases, four at Fred Meyer and two at WinCo. They occurred on June 17, June 18, June 19, July 15, July 20 and July 27.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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