Man Who Preyed on Church Woman is Arrested


By: Chris Brunner

A woman praying at a church had her purse snatched from her, and it was all caught on surveillance tape. However, police were unable to locate the suspect, until last week.

According to a tipster, the man captured on surveillance video stealing the purse while she prayed was at the church attending his niece’s baptism. Despite police having his identity and being on his trail, Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives had been unable to locate the suspect, but he kindly landed on their doorstep after being arrested for driving under the influence.

mansteals-purseAfter reports showed video of the man taking the 84-year-old victim’s purse in late December, a Crime Stoppers tip identified the suspect as 30-year-old Jonathan Somps. Somps’ relatives were able to confirm he was the culprit who committed the unholy act.

Around 1:30 p.m. on December 20, Aida Campos de Sanchez was praying at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Roman Catholic Church in North Lauderdale. Surveillance cameras captured as Somps walked in, quickly scanned the small room and zeroed in on the victim who had placed her purse on the chair next to her. Initially, it appeared as if he had left the church. After a few seconds, he returned, carefully slid the purse off of the chair and rushed out. The victim noticed that someone had just taken her purse and walked out after him, but the suspect had fled.

After Somps was arrested for DUI Jan. 15, BSO detectives presented one charge of grand theft against him. He was subsequently released on bond Jan. 16.

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