Olympia police seek man who stole purse, flashed gun at mall

Olympia police are looking for a robbery suspect who stole a purse out of a shopping cart, then flashed his gun at those chasing him.

Police were dispatched to the Capital Mall JCPenney in west Olympia about 3:30 p.m. Monday after a report of a robbery with gun.

Once there, they learned that a woman was inside the store when a man stole her purse out of her shopping cart and ran off, Lt. Dan Smith said.

She yelled out that her purse had been stolen and two people pursued the man, chasing him outside the store. The suspect then turned around and showed his gun to his pursuers, saying something along the lines of “I have a gun.”

They stopped chasing him while the man continued west in the direction of a Best Buy store, Smith said. Police searched the area, but did not find the man.

He is described as white, around 5-foot-8 and weighs between 200 and 220 pounds. He was last seen wearing wire-rimmed glasses, a black T-shirt with a blue circular design on it, black shorts, white tennis shoes and a dark baseball cap.

Anyone with information is asked to call Olympia police at 360-753-8300.

This story was originally published May 17, 2022 1:56 PM.

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Rolf has worked at The Olympian since August 2005. He covers breaking news, the city of Lacey and business for the paper. Rolf graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1990.