Purse snatcher strikes while woman pumps gas

REDDING, Calif. - A Redding woman had her purse stolen as she tried to pay for gas Sunday.

"I would never think of something like this could happen. But it did in the blink of an eye," explained Connie Armsdon, the woman whose purse, wallet and cell phone were stolen Sunday afternoon in Redding.

Armsdon said it happened at around 1:45 p.m. at the AM/PM on Churn Creek Boulevard.

She said the machine outside by the pump wasn't working, so she ran inside to pay when someone started shouting.

"There's a guy in your car! He's stealing your purse," recalled Armsdon.

That's when the suspect took off, as did an AM/PM employee. Armsdon said the clerk tried to chase the purse thief down, but couldn't catch him.

The whole incident has put Armsdon on edge.

"You're majorly violated. Even though I got some of my stuff back, I'm so afraid to pump gas now or even get out of my vehicle," explained Armsdon.

Store clerks went back and checked the gas station's surveillance. One of the employees recognized the suspect, and alerted Redding Police.

Officers arrested 27-year-old Randall Tatge on a handful of charges, including petty theft, probation violation and possession of a controlled substance.

Investigators believe Tatge sold Armsdon's purse for drugs.

Officers found methamphetamine on Tatge when they apprehended him.

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