Firefighters chase purse snatcher, hold him for police

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Carolina Leid reports from Crown Heights. (WABC)

New York's Bravest came to the rescue again, this time instead of battling a fire; they went after a thief who stole a woman's purse in Brooklyn.

Big city living doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a sense of community.

That's how Grace Clark McDay describes her Crown Heights, Brooklyn neighborhood and says firefighters from Engine 280 just proved her point.

"I've always been safe at home. We take care of each other all the people in the neighborhood. We take care of each other," McDay said.

A robber swiped her purse outside her Park Place home Friday morning, a classic crime of opportunity.

But firefighters doing building inspections on her block refused to let him get away with it.

"It is like a movie I was nervous, I didn't know what to say on the radio. I turned on the lights went the wrong way down the street and cut him off," said Firefighter Jarjeam Felton, FDNY.

"Was it a long chase?" Eyewitness News asked.

"No, but it was long enough, we were all wearing our gear, longer than we wanted to but we eventually caught up to him," said Lt. Jim Kivlan, FDNY.

The five hero firefighters managed to tackle the thief, swipe a screwdriver from his hand, and hold him down for police.

Mrs. McDay, who's lived here for nearly 50 years, wants to say thank you; not just for getting her purse back, but because these firefighters continue to make this a place that she wants to call home.

"I just want to thank them, they're on their game," McDay said.
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