Red Line riders leap into action when woman's purse is snatched at Charles/MGH

Update: Arrest made.

A woman's screams from one end of the outbound Charles/MGH platform got the attention of other people waiting for the train shortly before 9:30 this morning - and some of them started running after the guy who'd just grabbed her purse. Sarah Connors reports:

{It was] on platform, pretty far from the exit. Lady started yelling, dude started weaving through crowd. Probably about 10 of us tried to help. Eventually got the bag back, but somehow the dude managed to walk out of the station. Lot of confusion.

Steve Pomeroy adds:

From what I could see, victim was shaken up, but otherwise uninjured.

Transit Police report:

Victim boarded a Red Line train at Alewife station and placed her purse/bag on the floor between her feet. As the train entered Charles/MGH station and the doors opened a male subject grabbed her purse and fled off the train.

Police are reviewing surveillance video from the station for possible leads to the purse snatcher's identity.

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Comments

Bravo!

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Weird time and place for a purse-snatching, but at least they'll probably have good video.

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Survilleance cameras are good at

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capturing evidence. But one or more uniformed police in the station might have captured the perp (or detered them from comitting the robbery) in the first place. Tells me that the Transit Police are more interested in collecting evidence then they are is preventing crime.

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way to make them work too hard for it

Let's face it: purse snatchers and muggers don't want trouble. The more citizens get involved in making trouble for criminals like this, the less crime there will be in places like T stations. Even if this loser got away, he got away with nothing but a good chance of being caught later.

Way to go T riders!

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Right

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Except it shouldn't be just harder, it should be downright dangerous. Criminals will think twice when purse snatchers start showing up at hospitals with multiple broken ribs and violent home invaders start catching supersonic metal slugs with their foreheads. Fear of failure isn't much of a deterrent; fear of serious injury or death, on the other hand, just might do the trick. They're not stealing to put food on their table or roof over their head, so the usual "they'll just get more desperate" argument does not apply.

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Civil Society

When civil society breaks down, crime rises, not falls.

Vigilantes are a mark of societal breakdown, not a sign of a healthy society.

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A society of indifference in

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A society of indifference in the face of criminality is also a mark of societal breakdown and not a sign of a healthy society.

Good on everyone for helping,

Good on everyone for helping, and I don't know the layout of the new Charles stop that well, but the snark in me wants to say that if he had done this at a station with exists at both end of the platform, he probably would have gotten away with it. Petty thief fail.

Charles MGH is a God awful station

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Some of the rudest people and commuters I've encountered on the MBTA. Very nasty place to be during rush hour. Both direction, but evening rush towards Cambridge is IMO the worse.