Despite calling 911, purse-snatching witnesses say police pulled them over

Police: Man snatched woman's purse outside Village Bread Cafe

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Three women were shaken up after they said they witnessed a purse snatching Monday afternoon outside the Village Bread Cafe on Philips Highway and called police. 

According to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report, a woman said she had just left the restaurant and was walking in a parking lot to her vehicle about 3:30 p.m. when a man came up from behind her, knocked her to the ground and stole her purse. Three women who said they were across the street and witnessed the purse snatching began to follow the man and called 911, but that led to other problems. 

"We went into the little parking lot and asked how the lady was doing and at that time we saw the ambulance and the firetrucks," witness Pernetha Blake recounted.

The police report shows a witness told officers that the man got into the passenger seat of a car at a store nearby. The three women who witnessed the purse snatching said that, despite calling police, their car ended up being wrongfully accused of being the getaway car. The women claimed police pulled them over, drew guns and put them in handcuffs.

"It made me cry. I was so shaken, nervous," Pernetha Blake said. 

Witness Shambria Blake said, "One officer even asked me, 'Do you know the suspect?' And I’m, like, 'No. I was calling trying to help someone.'"

The misunderstanding was cleared up and the women were allowed to leave. They said they hope police can find the right suspects involved in the purse snatching. 

According to the police report, the man who took the purse was wearing a black hoodie and black shorts at the time. He has not yet been caught, police said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.

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