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UES Purse Snatcher Caught After Fleeing Across Lanes of Traffic, NYPD Says

By Shaye Weaver | May 15, 2017 2:46pm

UPPER EAST SIDE — A man swiped a purse from a Starbucks customer minutes after attempting to mug another victim, then led officers on a chase across several lanes of traffic before he was caught, according to the NYPD.

Mahmoud Elzanfali, 25, first tried stealing $53 in cash out of the hand of a woman on the street near 84th Street and Second Avenue around 11 a.m. on May 10, but he was unsuccessful, police said.

About 20 minutes later, Elzanfali went into the Starbucks at 1488 Third Ave. and grabbed a purse that was sitting on a counter next to its owner. The woman ordered him to stop, but he left the coffee shop and ran across four lanes of oncoming traffic on Third Avenue, police said. 

Officers chased him across the avenue. When they caught him, he laid on top of on his hands and kicked his feet to resist arrest, police said.

He was arraigned on charges of attempted grand larceny, grand larceny and resisting arrest, and bail was set at $7,500 cash or $15,000 bond, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

He's due back in court on Tuesday.

His attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.