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Man Pretends to Help Drunk Woman, Tries to Steal Her $400 Purse: Police

 A man was attacked while at work on Bleecker Street, police said.
A man was attacked while at work on Bleecker Street, police said.
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — An intoxicated woman nearly had her pricey purse swiped, but a nearby NYPD officer caught the thief in the act, police said.

Sgt. Edwin Soto with the 6th Precinct noticed a 23-year-old woman who appeared to be extremely intoxicated at Thompson and Bleecker streets about 1 a.m. on Feb. 28, and then saw a 52-year-old man appear to help her, according to police records.

But then Soto noticed the man take the inebriated woman's $400 black leather Kate Spade purse and place it in an orange bucket, records show, and handed her a bottle of water in its place.

Soto intervened, recovered the woman’s purse, with her wallet, business cards, contact lenses and cosmetics in it, and had the woman taken to Lenox Health Greenwich Village.

The man was arrested and held on bail of $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash. He was indicted by a grand jury in New York Supreme Court on March 9 of felony grand larceny in the fourth degree for stealing property from a person. Additional charges of petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, both misdemeanors, were added on March 10.

He is due back in court for arraignment on April 13. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.