Police have arrested and charged a man after four women had their handbags snatched from their shoulders in the Illawarra last week.
About 12pm last Monday, 8 February, a 73-year-old woman who was using a walking frame for assistance, was approached by a man as she used a footpath crossing on Railway Parade, near Corrimal Railway Station.
The man attempted to remove the woman’s handbag from her walking frame, before she fell to the ground during a scuffle.
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The man grabbed the handbag and ran towards a waiting vehicle with its engine running – believed to be a grey-coloured late model Holden Commodore SS or HSV utility – which was last seen driving west along Railway Parade.
The woman was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance Paramedics and taken to Wollongong Hospital suffering shock.
Just after 2pm on Wednesday 10 February, an 84-year-old woman was checking her mail box on Railway Parade, Corrimal, as she returned from shopping.
As she bent down, she felt someone pull her handbag away from her and saw a man running with it towards a late model grey-coloured utility parked nearby.
The man got into the utility and it was last seen driving east along Railway Parade towards Pioneer Road. The woman was not injured during the incident.
Around 3pm on Friday 12 February, a 44-year-old woman was walking through an underground shopping centre car-park in Warilla when she was approached by a man who grabbed her handbag from her shoulder and ran off.
A short time later, a 64-year-old woman was walking out of a pharmacy on George Street in Warilla, when she was approached by a man who ripped her handbag from her shoulder before getting into a grey ute and driving from the scene.
Police commenced inquiries into the incidents and on Friday 12 February, they executed a search warrant inside a caravan at a trailer park in Barrack Point. As a result, they seized clothing and two paintball guns.
Around 10pm on Friday night, officers returned to the caravan park where they arrested a 34-year-old man. He was taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station where he was charged with numerous offences relating to the robberies as well as fraud offences committed using stolen credit cards. He was also charged with prohibited firearm possession in relation to the paint-ball guns that were found inside his caravan.
Bail refused, the man appeared before Wollongong Local Court on Saturday 13 February 2016, where he was again refused bail to reappear today.