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Woman Fends Off Handbag Thief on J Train, Police Say

By Irene Plagianos | September 18, 2013 8:58am
 A 46-year woman fended off a would-be handbag thief on the J train, police said.
A 46-year woman fended off a would-be handbag thief on the J train, police said.
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LOWER MANHATTAN — A woman riding the J train was attacked by a stranger for her handbag, but she fended him off, police said.

The 46-year-old woman said she and a man boarded an empty J train car at the Broad Street stop at about 11 a.m. on Sept. 10. The woman, who was uncomfortable being alone in the car with the man, began pretending to analyze one of the posted subway maps, police said.

Suddenly, the man began trying to rip the woman's handbag off her arm, police said.

The woman told police that she screamed and held tight as the two struggled over her purse. 

Unable to pry the bag from his shrieking victim, the would-be thief ran out of the car at the next stop, at Fulton Street.

Police were still investigating the incident as of Tuesday.

Other notable crimes in this week's NYPD blotter in the 1st Precinct include:

► A robber with a knife stole $300 from Financial District sweet shop Gelato Ti Amo on Sept. 13 at about 6 p.m., police said. An employee told cops that the knife-wielding thief demanded: “Open the register, I’m a robber,” before walking around the counter and taking cash from the opened register. He then fled the 12 John St. store.

► A thief swiped a $3,000 Trek bicycle from the corner of South and Wall streets as the owner played with his young daughter a couple feet away at about 8 p.m. on Sept. 19, police said. The man told officers that a man wearing khakis and a blue-and-white-striped polo shirt quickly jumped on his unlocked bike and rode off up South Street. The 39-year-old also had his $6,5000 Rolex watch, his $2,000 Apple MacBook Pro and his $200 Asics sneakers — all of which were in a bike bag — stolen.

► A woman had the passenger side window of her car, parked outside of 36 King St., smashed in, and her large, black Longchamp purse stolen from under a car seat on Sept. 14, at some point between 8:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., police said. The 23-year-old’s $200 bag contained more than $3,900 worth of cash and personal items, including $350 Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, $800 in cash and a $1,500 dental retainer.

► A man had his locked, $3,000 Fuji SST bike stolen from the corner of John and Front streets, sometime between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sept. 14, police said. The 30-year-old owner said when he returned to his bike after several hours, the bicycle and the lock were gone.

► A robber broke the window of a car parked outside of 66 Charlton St. and stole a $600 iPad Mini, a $600 HTC cellphone and a $200 camera from inside the car sometime between 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 and 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 11. The owner told police that when he returned to his car he found the window smashed and the items missing.