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Suspected gang member arrested in purse-snatching

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Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:16 am, Fri Jan 14, 2011.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested Thursday after police say he stole a purse from a woman napping in her car.

The juvenile, whose identity was not released because he is a minor, was transported to San Joaquin Juvenile Hall on Thursday afternoon, according to Lodi Police Cpl. Tim Fritz.

The woman fell asleep in her car around noon in the 300 block of West Locust Street, Fritz said, when the suspect allegedly opened a car door, grabbed the victim's purse and fled.

A witness nearby followed the suspect, and directed responding Officer Richard Dunfee to his last-known location. Dunfee found the suspect in the 500 block of West Elm Street, and after a brief foot pursuit, caught up to and arrested him, Fritz said.

Upon capture, it was discovered the suspect had a stolen handgun in his pocket, Fritz said. The weapon was stolen from Modesto in 2002.

Fritz said the suspect told police he was a gang member.

Contact reporter Fernando Gallo at fernando@lodinews.com.

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