(Memphis) A woman whose wallet was stolen late Wednesday from a downtown restaurant was able to chase the accused thief and hold him until police arrived.
Jessica McCormick celebrated Wednesday’s Grizzlies win by going to Huey’s with friends. While eating at the bar, she and her friends noticed a man about three stools down from them.
“There was a man that was on the cell phone the whole time. He was talking to someone, he was kind of pacing back and forth, but we kind of thought he was just really drunk,” she said.
At one point, the man bumped into the back of McCormick’s chair.
Shortly after, “The bartender yelled to the security guard, ‘hey, that guy just ran out on his check.’ When he said that, it made me think, hey he just bumped my purse. Checked for my wallet, and my wallet wasn’t there," she said.
Her wallet had been sitting at the bottom of her purse, which was hanging on the back of her chair.
When they realized the suspect was running, the bartender, McCormick’s friend, and the security guard gave chase. She followed, running in her riding boots.
The suspect didn’t know McCormick is a sergeant with the Mississippi National Guard. She’s deploying to Afghanistan soon for the fourth time. She also used to be in the U.S. Marine Corps and once served as a military police officer.
Describing the chase, she said the suspect “ran on Second [Avenue] for a block, made a right down an alley, zigzagged through another couple of alleys until he landed in the parking lot right next to Silly Goose.”
She added, “It kind of kicked in my head that that guy had my wallet, all of my IDs, my money, and I kicked it into high gear.”
The money included cash gifts she received for her upcoming birthday.
She ran past the three men in front of her, and saw the suspect trying to shake off the security guard through the parking lot.
She quickly caught up with them. “I put my hand in his back, and momentum kind of pushed us to the ground, I put a knee in the back of his knee and grabbed his arms until the security guard could help me keep him down.”
Christopher Conners was charged with two counts of theft of property under $500. A police report states Conners is 6'3", and McCormick guesses he might have weighed 220 lbs.
McCormick said she was glad the suspect didn’t have a weapon on him and does not recommend everyone go chasing after thieves and robbers.
In fact, she’s thankful the suspect did not steal the pistol she would have usually carried in her purse. She left it at home Wednesday night because of the new NBA security measures, which require screenings before entering FedEx Forum.
McCormick warns all ladies not to put their purses behind them while sitting anywhere in public. She also warns thieves not to underestimate their victims.