Publix shopper retrieves stolen purse before suspects flee; police searching for them

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Tampa police are searching for two suspects they believe are behind two separate purse-snatching incidents.

A video of one of those incidents shows a woman being nearly run over when her purse is snatched from her arms outside a Publix grocery store.

The woman is okay. She only suffered minor scrapes and bruises, but police say she is not the only victim.

Police say they are confident someone will recognize the man in the video and turn him in.

In the video, you can see the female victim leaving a Publix grocery store just after 7:30 p.m. last Thursday.

In a split second, a man can be seen coming up behind her and snatching her purse. Without hesitation, she ran after him.

A moment later, you can see half her body sticking out of a moving, silver car before she falls and is dragged through the parking lot.

"Even though this turned out well. I can't help, but cheer for the woman that she was able to get her purse back," Tampa Police Public Information Officer Stephen Hegarty said. "And she really was not injured, it's dangerous... If you're being robbed, nothing is as valuable as your life."

Police believe the same thief and the getaway driver then hit another Publix near Citrus Park just one day later. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, this time a woman could be seen snatching the purse and a man behind the wheel of the getaway car. The first victim was able to get her purse back.

"They worked together so there was a getaway car so nobody could be seen running through the parking lot," Hegarty said. "So they clearly had that down pretty well, but it didn't work out for them they obviously robbed the wrong woman."

She was left with some scraps and bruises. This isn't the first time a woman was dragged going after a purse thief. In July, this woman hopped off an electric shopping cart at a Largo Walmart to chase after two suspected thieves. They were later arrested.

If you recognize the man in the video, call Tampa Police at 813-276-3200.