Subscribe to the new podcast ‘Killing Lorenzen’ – Episode 5 just released

Strangers stop accused purse snatcher in Southwest Memphis

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A couple of strangers rescued a woman in need in Southwest Memphis.

Police said Reginald Pree snatched a woman's purse and tried making his escape in a nearby neighborhood until some good Samaritans stepped up to make sure he didn't get very far.

The woman told police she just bought a cup of coffee at a Mapco Gas Station on South Third. She was putting her wallet back in her purse when a guy snatched it, ran out the front door and down the street.

She apparently followed him screaming which alerted total strangers.

"She was coming down the street hollering, 'Help, help, help! Somebody help!' We were like what's going on?" said Michael Brown.

Brown and Amiri Johnson said seconds after that they spotted Pree sprinting up East Rollins with a purse in his hand.

"Nah, you don't do that over here," said Johnson.

The two didn't know the woman, but that didn't matter to them.

"We didn't give him a chance to say nothing. There was nothing to talk about when we see you with her purse and her stuff fall out. There was nothing to talk about," said Johnson.

The pair said they tackled Pree, and the three got into a fight until the suspect let go of the purse and took off running.

It didn't take long for police to catch him though.

Detectives said he hopped a fence a few doors over, and fell down in a backyard.

A neighbor told WREG he found him lying on the ground and gasping for air.

Pree was taken to the hospital for a check up before he was taken to jail and charged with robbery.

"He had to go get catched, so we caught him," said Brown.

This wasn't the first time Pree has been caught. He's been arrested before for drugs, weapons, burglary and assault.

"You want to go back to jail for petty stealing, you should have your head on better than that," said Johnson.

The two said they're just glad the woman got everything back.

"Everything that was in the purse: social, phone, money and cigarettes. Everything," said Johnson.

"You don't do stuff around here. We love our elderly people around here," said Brown.

Pree is due in court September 28. He's being held on a $50,000 bond.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.