Customers, employees chase down purse snatcher at Freebirds

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by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 6, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 6 at 11:20 PM

HOUSTON-- A purse snatcher ended up on the take-out menu at Freebirds World Burrito on Tuesday evening.

"It just happened," admitted night manager Katie Fletcher.

It all went down on Tuesday evening in the 11700 block of Westheimer Road when Elizabeth McGee, her friend and all of their children were out to eat. That’s when a purse snatcher showed up.

He grabbed McGee's bag that was hanging on the back of her chair.

"It was just like a mama bear came out in me,” said McGee. "You don't do this to people."

The women yelled for help as the crook made it to the door.

Fletcher heard the commotion.

"She said ‘get my purse, he got my purse,’" said Fletcher.

Another employee, Aaron Lunsford, watched the bold criminal in disbelief.

"There were four or five 5 kids sitting there and he's still gonna come up in here and do this" Lunsford told us. "Not in this restaurant. I'm sorry."

Lunsford, Fletcher and an employee from a neighboring restaurant chased the man out the door and followed him as he headed for an apartment complex across the street.

McGee decided she was going to get in on the chase too.

"I was like let's go honestly," she said. "I feel like Cagney and Lacey!"

But it was Fletcher and a regular customer named Elliott Hill who ultimately took the purse snatcher down.

"Without thinking, I just grabbed the guy, got him on the ground and held him there until the police came," said Hill.

The men managed to restrain the crook by sitting on him. They got every stolen item back.

"One person had my wallet," said McGee. "One person had my phone. There were pieces of my purse that everyone was bringing and there was nothing missing!"

Even though you can't order a hero on the menu, you might find a few at Freebirds.

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