July 17, 2014

Purse snatcher snags 40-year prison sentence

The man was caught after the purse owner activated a cellphone tracker, which police used to find the suspect

A woman used a cellphone tracker to lead police to a purse-snatching suspect, and on Wednesday a Tarrant County jury sentenced him to 40 years in prison.

Michael Wayne Perry, 49, of Grand Prairie, will have to spend at least 10 years in prison before he becomes eligible for parole, a news release from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office said.

The news release revealed the following details:

Perry stopped a woman outside an Arlington Kroger at Pleasant Ridge Road and Green Oaks Boulevard on Oct. 4, 2012, and asked to borrow her phone because his car had broken down, according to evidence presented in state District Judge Everett Young’s court.

The woman refused and got into her vehicle, but Perry handed her a piece of paper with a name and number written on it and asked if she would call his friend to come and get him.

The woman put her purse on the passenger seat and then turned to shut her door, but Perry threw his arm across her neck and pinned her against the seat. Perry grabbed the purse and left in the vehicle he had said was broken down.

The woman drove home, called 911 and also activated a tracker on her phone, which police used to locate Perry and arrest him at a gas station in the 1000 block of West Pioneer Parkway in Grand Prairie. Perry had just used the woman’s credit card to fill up his car.

Police found the stolen purse and the woman’s cellphone in the trunk of Perry’s car. During the trial, prosecutors Tim Rodgers and Colin McLaughlin presented evidence that Perry had three theft convictions and one credit card abuse conviction out of Dallas County.

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