Local News

Security cameras help ID purse snatcher

Posted April 3, 2015 3:58 p.m. EDT
Updated April 3, 2015 5:50 p.m. EDT

— Security cameras are credited with the identification and quick arrest Thursday of a man who police say knocked 89-year-old Lila Harrison to the ground and took her purse as she was on the way to church.

"Basically, while one investigator was on scene getting information and getting a description of the truck, eyewitness information gave them a direction of travel. One of those directions of travel was Grove and B streets," said police spokesman Antoine Kincade.

Police have a security camera at that intersection. Investigators rewound the video back to the time of the assault and got a snapshot of the suspect and his pickup truck, then quickly disseminated it to other officers and the public.

"We were able to obtain information on where this guy was and were able to arrest him without incident," Kincade said.

The man, 42-year-old Edward Nicholas Schwab, whose last known address is 1103 Strathdon Ave., stopped Harrison to ask for directions, luring her close enough to make a grab for her purse, authorities said.

He was charged with common law robbery and possession of stolen goods and was being held in the Cumberland County jail Friday under a $7,000 secured bond.

Fayetteville Police have about 50 security cameras scattered around the city, recording around the clock, seven days a week.

"We can go back and back track in order to find out little clues as far as vehicles, as far as people traveling," Kincade said. "Any bit of information might lead to an arrest, just like it did in this case."