EXCLUSIVE: Purse Snatchers Arrested, Victim Speaks Out

EXCLUSIVE: Purse Snatchers Arrested, Victim Speaks Out

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The crooks who were caught on camera stealing an elderly woman's purse at a Wal-Mart have been caught. It all went down after one of the thieves own family members saw them on NewsWest 9 and called Odessa Crime Stoppers. That family member and the victim are both speaking out.

Police arrested Thomas Lawrence Collins and Velma Shire Bagdon. Both were charged with a state jail felony theft.

"I want to thank the police department, Detective Muniz and Sergeant Smith," Ms. Finley, who's purse was snatched, said.

The saying, patience is a virtue, holds some meaning for this Odessan. Ms. Finley is the woman in the video where surveillance cameras captured the two individuals, according to police, stealing her purse from Wal-Mart on the west side of Odessa a couple of months ago.

"I think about seeing the film where she took my purse out of the basket and I think they didn't touch me. If I had turned around, what would have they done to me to get my purse," Finley said.

Finley is on a fixed income and disabled. She had various belongings in that purse that were stolen. Police were hoping at the time, someone would recognize the pair and the vehicle they were driving the night of the crime. It turns out the duo borrowed the vehicle from a family member who later saw the report on NewsWest 9 and immediately called Crime Stoppers.

"I had loaned my vehicle to them one night. It was only a one time thing. I thought nothing of it until several months after I loaned the vehicle then this was on the news. I just felt really bad for the lady. Our family is all upset about this," Sandra, the aunt of one of the thieves, said.

"I'm very relieved that they're off the street and not in a position to rob someone else," Finley said.

"Yes I did call it in and we're going to donate the money back to the victim," Sandra said.

Finley says she'll trade her purse for a fanny pack now when she goes shopping. She says if anyone tries to rob her fanny pack, she won't go down without a fight.