Armed with a handgun, a man pursued and tackled a purse snatcher who made his getaway on a bicycle Saturday in Squirrel Hill. But the thief jumped up, got back on the bicycle and disappeared, Pittsburgh police said.
The theft occurred at the Giant Eagle on Murray Avenue about 4:10 p.m., sparking the chase.
According to police, an 85-year-old woman was sitting on a bench in the parking lot of the grocery store when the suspect, wearing a blue ski mask, grabbed her purse from her grocery cart and ran.
A 26-year-old woman started yelling and ran after the suspect. That alerted a 31-year-old man, who saw the suspect riding away on a black bicycle with the purse, police said.
The man ran after the suspect as his bicycle turned left onto Beacon Street, caught up with the bicycle and knocked the man off it. The man told the suspect he had a gun, then removed his pistol from its holster, police said. The man, who has a concealed-carry permit, told police he never pointed the gun at the suspect before quickly reholstering it.
The suspect then jumped back on the bike and was last seen pedaling away on Murray Avenue. Police said he dropped the purse, though, and it was returned to the 85-year-old woman.
The suspect was described as a white man who was wearing a brown coat, a black hooded sweatshirt, tan pants and black boots. Police said anyone with information should call 911.