May 7, 2019
By Jennifer Miko
Yesterday's purse snatching in a local H-E-B has Katyites on alert, especially moms who say they regularly shop there with small children.
On Monday at around 2:15 pm, shoppers in the Katy Market H-E-B at Kingsland Boulevard and Pin Oak Road reacted to a purse snatching inside the store. A customer was shopping in the produce department when a man grabbed her purse from her shopping cart and took off running.
Samantha Ridgeway was shopping near the victim and said she saw the thief walking toward the exit doors when he reached into the cart and took the woman's bag.
"She yelled, 'My purse, my purse, my purse,' and about 10 or 15 people turned and reacted." Ridgeway said H-E-B employees and other shoppers, mostly women, ran to her aid and chased after the man as he fled the store. Ridgeway recalled seeing the thief dropping the woman's purse outside the store and running through the parking lot looking for his car.
"It could have been worse," Ridgeway says, ”We all need to stick together and remain safe."
Ridgeway said the Katy Police arrived on the scene and spoke with the store manager and the victim.
“It makes you wonder if (the thief) couldn’t get it at that store, would he go to the next, I would totally believe that,” Ridgeway says.
During the incident, another customer, Sarah Owens was checking out. “I heard the lady screaming and saw her run out chasing someone.”
When Owens left the store, she said the thief was driving away in an older model brown sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry. She said people were videotaping and taking pictures of the car as it sped through the parking lot, and witnesses got his license plate.
"It’s not safe in Katy anymore Mamas,” posted Ridgeway, who was born and raised in Katy. “I hate that now I feel I need my husband EVERYWHERE I go, even the peaceful trip I like taking to the grocery story.”
When a Small Town Grows Up
On a social media group page, Luzdenny Fernandez admitted she doesn’t feel safe going to the local grocery stores and uses the grocery pickup and delivery services instead. “I told my husband with three little ones I would be an easy target,” she says. “My children will never be as free as I was growing up. This is so sad.”
“We are a super-fast growing community,” observed Barbara Bobbie of Katy. “Crime is on the rise, like it is in all big cities.”
Katy Magazine spoke with the Loss Prevention department of H-E-B and they were still looking in to the incident. They could not comment as to whether there were surveillance cameras at the Katy Market H-E-B. Katy Magazine has also left a message with the Katy Police Department.
“We aren’t a one-horse town anymore folks,” added Bobbie. “Welcome to the NEW Katy. Spread the word.”