Suspect who snatched purse from 88-year-old Coppell woman arrested

Police have arrested the suspect caught on surveillance video snatching a purse from an 88-year-old woman inside a Coppell grocery store.

Surveillance video inside the Tom Thumb on North Denton Tap Road on April 15 around noon shows a man follow the woman inside the store. He then waits for the lady to reach for a disinfecting wipe after putting her purse in a shopping cart. It was a split second distraction the thief exploited.

Police have identified the alleged purse snatcher as Terrance Coleman, 36, after receiving numerous tips.

“I think it hit some people's nerves a lot more than some other things,” said Officer Peter Dirks with the Coppell Police Department.

After surveillance video was released of the suspect snatching the elderly woman’s purse, tips poured in and police say more than 10, including one from a probation officer, identified the man in the video as Coleman.

“Our detectives started investigating it,” said Dirks. “We put the word out when we knew it was him and we found out that Lancaster PD arrested him on some unrelated charges.”

Coleman was transferred to the Dallas County Jail Friday morning. Records show he's also being held for evading arrest and forgery charges.

In Coppell's case, the department plans to ask for enhanced charges related to exploitation of an elderly individual asking prosecutors to take into account the theft and the victim's age.

“We've actually had some people request to assist the lady with monetary donations, stuff like that,” said Dirks. “She didn't want to do any of that. She's just grateful for all the help everybody's had.”

A probable cause affidavit from Coppell police says Coleman was also seen on surveillance video using the victim's stolen credit card at a Lewisville gas station.

Coleman was caught on video leaving the Tom Thumb in a stolen vehicle.

Coleman’s criminal history includes theft and drug possession, according to public records.