A man remained in custody today following an unusual purse-snatching in Laurens late Thursday morning. The victim had fallen with a medical condition before the theft. Laurens County EMS responded at 11:16 A.M. Thursday on report of a woman who collapsed in the parking lot of the Aldi store on Exchange Drive. A witness noted observing a man wearing a red hat and a flannel jacket leaving the scene with a red purse in his jacket. While en route to the Aldi store, Laurens City Officer Christy Johnson reportedly met a PT Cruiser that matched the description of the vehicle the suspect had left in. She turned and followed. The vehicle pulled into a Laundromat on Fleming Street, near Mill Street. Officer Johnson reported observing a rear door open and a male subject exit the car with something stuffed under his jacket. He went into the Laundromat. Officer Johnson stayed outside observing the two people still in the suspect vehicle until backup arrived. When the back-seat passenger exited the Laundromat, she placed him in custody. Master Patrolman Brewington then reportedly located the stolen purse in a trash can just inside the door. The suspect allegedly told of arriving in the Aldi parking lot with his father to see the woman on the ground. Another witness flagged them down and called 911. The man allegedly confessed that he saw the pocket book in a buggy, grabbed it and told his Dad, “let’s go.”
The woman who collapsed in the Aldi Parking lot was flown to Greenville by helicopter. Officers contacted her husband to advise him. Later, officers were informed that the woman had died. A large crowd of family and friends attended her funeral yesterday afternoon at Rocky Springs Presbyterian.
42-year-old Michael Damon Craig of 103 Smith Street, Laurens was booked at the Laurens County Detention Center. Friday, he was charged with Larceny Enhanced. A warrant citing investigation of Master Patrol Officer Johnson states that on March 16th Mr. Craig stole a victim’s purse while she was lying on the ground unconscious at Aldi’s Grocery Store, 401 Exchange Drive. With a $20,000 cash or surety bond, Michael Damon Craig remained in custody this morning.