CHESTER, Va. (WTVR) – CBS 6 reports a 77-year-old woman put her purse down in the front seat as she loaded into the backseat groceries she had just bought at the Kroger in Chester.
Meanwhile, Justin Watkins was inside Lowe’s picking up items for a construction job when he heard a loud commotion of people.
"We proceed to check out and while we're standing in this checkout line, people start hollerin'… they're saying, ‘stop stop stop…he's got her purse,’” Watkins said.
Witnesses in the Kroger Parking lot chased the suspect, who ran inside Lowe's.
"I see them chasing the fellow across the parking lot,” Watkins said, and he took off also.
"I chase him across the parking lot and I started gaining on him,” Watkins recalled.
The suspect ran toward Rite-Aid with a gaggle of good Samaritans behind him. The suspect gets a car door open just as Watkins got to the car.
"I take the door and I mash him up against the car as hard as I can,” Watkins said.
The suspect manages to get in the driver’s seat, get the car started and put it into drive.
"I put my feet on the bottom of the door jam and I squeeze as hard as I can and I pulled him out of the car and got him on the ground and he was holding on tight enough that when I pulled him out he ripped the steering wheel cover off the steering wheel,” Watkins said.
Chesterfield County police arrested 20-year-old Devante Evans on one count of misdemeanor petty larceny.
Evans is being held in the Chesterfield County jail on a $4,000 dollar bond.
Police also said they appreciate citizens helping, but reminded citizens to contact police first.
They also said reminded shoppers to remain observant of their surroundings this holiday season.
"I think that's great and good for him and thank you for being a good citizen,” said Beth Lucchesi, who heard the news.