Alleged purse snatchers arrested in Mayfair

Pope

A Delaware County man and his woman companion were arrested for trying to shoplift from a Lower Mayfair supermarket last Thursday, just days after they snatched a senior woman’s purse inside another local store, police say.

A perceptive patrol cop spotted Justin Pope and Tiffany Groves inside the Acme at 6601 Roosevelt Blvd. at about 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and recognized them from surveillance video of the Nov. 11 theft involving an 84-year-old woman victim. The officer exited the Acme and waited outside with his partner to see if Pope and Groves were going to get into the same light blue Hyundai coupe that they allegedly used to flee the earlier crime scene.

Indeed, Pope and Groves exited the Acme and approached a light blue Hyundai that was parked nearby. After taking the suspects into custody, the officers learned from a store employee that the couple had attempted to shoplift several items from the Acme.

Police later concluded that Pope and Groves were also responsible for the Nov. 11 purse snatching. That crime occurred at about 9 p.m. at the Giant, 2550 Grant Ave., when Pope allegedly distracted the elderly victim while Groves swiped her purse. Both suspects fled the scene, but surveillance cameras recorded the crime on video.

Police distributed the video publicly on Nov. 17, just hours before Pope and Groves turned up at the Acme in Mayfair.

Pope, 33, was reported as a resident of the 200 block of Liberty Court Road in Newtown Square, while Groves, 23, was reported as homeless. Both were charged with retail theft for the Acme incident and with theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy for the incident at Giant. Court records show that both were released on their own recognizance. ••

Groves