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Alleged Fairbanks purse-snatcher snatched by witnesses

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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2014 6:01 pm

FAIRBANKS—A group of good Samaritans in Fairbanks chased down an alleged purse snatcher at Walmart on Thursday.

David Compton, 23, of North Pole, was arrested by Fairbanks police on felony robbery and theft charges at around 7:30 p.m. after a 63-year-old woman called police to report that he had stolen her purse and that witnesses had him in custody.

The woman told police she was sitting in her vehicle in the parking lot of Walmart when Compton walked up, opened the door and grabbed her purse off the floor.

The woman chased after Compton as far as she could, yelling "thief" as she did so, which drew the attention of others in the parking lot, said Lt. Dan Welborn with the Fairbanks Police Department. A half dozen people ran after Compton and caught up to him in the parking lot of the nearby Lowe's store. One of the witnesses wrestled Compton to the ground and held him until police arrived, Welborn said. Compton claimed the purse belonged to his girlfriend.

Compton was also charged with disorderly conduct and violating conditions of his release in a harassment case.

Contact the newsroom at 459-7572.

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