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Alleged 'Purse Snatcher' caught by Las Cruces police

Mug shot of Richard Gerald Kimpel III. He's charged with a third-degree felony count of robbery.

Monday didn’t go over too well for a woman whose purse was allegedly stolen by a Las Cruces man.

On Monday, police arrested Gerald Kimpel III outside the Walgreens at 1256 El Paseo Drive in Las Cruces.

Police said witnesses saw him leave the Walgreens and wait outside the building, wearing a dark hoodie and a gold watch. Officers said that when the unidentified 60-year-old woman walked out of the store, he ran toward her and snatched her purse from her, before jumping into the passenger seat of a Mitsubishi Eclipse, which proceeded to drive away.

Later, authorities learned that a 15-year-old girl, who is a friend of Kimpel, was driving the vehicle. She told investigators that Kimpel told her to wait in the parking lot while he went in to the store to use the restroom. She said that when Kimpel came back to the car, he was carrying a purse and ordered her to drive off. She said that the two got into an argument, and switched drivers. Shortly after that theywere pulled over by a Las Cruces police officer.

The officer spotted the Eclipse heading south on Main Street, and made a traffic stop on the vehicle. Kimpel was identified as the driver and was arrested. He is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center without bond. He is charged with a third-degree count of robbery. The girl also faces possible charges for her role in the incident.

Investigators recovered the purse from the inside of the Eclipse. It is unclear what it contained, or if it was returned to its owner. Investigators are still trying to learn more about the incident.

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