Police arrest serial purse snatcher - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police arrest serial purse snatcher

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- Cedar Rapids Police arrested a man they say is responsible for taking several purses and wallets across the city.

42 year-old Charles Wilcox of 111 1 Ave SW faces several charges of theft.  Police say he fits the description in two separate cases and is suspected in many more cases of stolen purses and wallets.

Police say on Christmas Day, someone took the wallet of an 82 year-old man from his hospital room.  Police traced the ATM card from the wallet and identified a man matching Wilcox description using ATM security camera footage.

At the time, Wilcox was already in custody, charged with a purse-snatching.  In that case, a woman left her purse in a waiting room while she went to dance class.  When she got back, her purse was gone.  The woman told police she'd spoken with a man in the waiting room before leaving her purse.   That led police to arrest Wilcox with that theft.

Since the middle of November 2008, the Cedar Rapids Police Department has taken 17 thefts of purses/billfolds in the downtown area alone. These are still being investigated. 

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