Mullins: Snatching is first in months

Published 12:01 am Friday, December 7, 2007

NATCHEZ — While Amanda Hudson and a friend were walking to St. Mary Basilica last Sunday, Hudson said she felt a tug at her purse strap.

Seconds later Hudson found herself fighting for her purse with a hooded assailant.

This incident sparked a swarm of e-mails that painted a dire situation for the purse-toting women of Natchez.

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The email warns local women of rampant purse-snatchings in the Natchez area.

Police Chief Mike Mullins said in actuality the purse-snatching on Sunday is the first one in several months.

Hudson said the incident was so unexpected she first thought it could be a friend just playing joke. However when she turned around she said she knew the matter was no joke.

“He just wanted my bag,” she said.

But Hudson was not willing to give up the purse without a fight.

“I tried to beat him with the umbrella,” she said. “But he threw me around like a rag doll.”

Hudson suspects she could have been targeted because she had her hands full and was just finishing a phone call when the perpetrator struck.

Natchez police recovered her purse a short time later in the parking lot of a downtown business.

Hudson said while she was not carrying any cash, her assailant was able to charge $60 worth of beer and cigarettes at a local convenience store before she could cancel her credit cards.

While she said she is not afraid to walk the streets of Natchez, Hudson said she will no longer carry a purse in the evening.

However Mullins said women of Natchez should not feel compelled to stop carrying purses.

“Don’t change what you do because of criminals,” he said.

Mullins said it’s also a good idea to make photocopies of credit cards and other valuable cards kept in wallets and purses.

“If you have those copies on hand it takes no time to cancel them,” he said.

Mullins said police have two suspects in the purse-snatching and hope to make an arrest this week.

Mullins said he and his fellow officers are committed to keeping Natchez safe.

“Natchez is a safe place to be,” he said.