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South Salt Lake police hope to capture a man who snatched a woman's purse and took off.
It happened at the New Ice Age ice cream shop on 200 East and 3300 South.
The owner said she was watching the presidential debate Tuesday night with a regular customer because business was slow. Around 8 p.m., a man walked in and said he wanted ice cream.
The owner, Soon Huntinghouse, got up from one of the dining tables and walked behind the counter to serve him.
But by then, Huntinghouse saw that the customer was staring at her friend. She said, "Her handbag was on the floor. He just ran and grabbed her handbag, then some guy outside opened the door for him, then he just ran, running. He was so fast."
She said the woman was shocked.
Gary Keller, with the South Salt Lake Police Department, said, "The purse was sitting on the floor, and I think he may have just seized the opportunity and grabbed the purse and left."
Huntinghouse said she wanted to chase him but decided to call 911 instead. Police arrived within three minutes and immediately searched the area with no luck. Huntinghouse wished she had surveillance cameras installed, which she plans on doing now.
The purse had all the normal items in it: credit cards, cash, IDs, cell phone and special prescription glasses the victim can't see without. "It's a crime that affects people personally," Keller said. "When someone takes your wallet or your purse, you're taking it from a person. It heightens the level of the crime."
Police have a vague description of the suspect. We weren't able to get ahold of the victim today because her cell phone was stolen.
E-mail: ngonzales @ksl.com