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updated: 7/1/2011 5:01 PM

Civilians nab purse thief in Lake Zurich, police say

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A group of good Samaritans chased and detained a suspected purse thief in Lake Zurich, police said.

Thomas A. White Jr. 27, of the 100 block of Beachway Drive in Fox River Grove, was arrested and charged with robbery Thursday.

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A woman who police say drove White to Lake Zurich and tried to help him escape was arrested, too.

Jessica Roman, 30 of the 400 block of Doverton Lane in Fox River Grove, was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. She failed a sobriety test and had syringes in her car, police Cmdr. Kevin Finlon said.

The robbery occurred about 4:40 p.m. in a shopping center parking lot on the 700 block of West Route 22. White confronted the victim, a 57-year-old Barrington woman, as she walked to her car, Finlon said.

White grabbed the woman's purse, pushed her down and ran away, Finlon said.

A witness pursued White in a car and called for pedestrians to help stop the suspect, police said. Several joined the chase and eventually caught him on the 500 block of South Rand Road, police said.

"When you have numbers in your favor, there's some security there," Finlon said of the people who chased the suspect.

No one was injured in the robbery or the pursuit, but one of the pursuers twisted a knee after getting out of his car, Finlon said.

Finlon said police always appreciate civilian assistance but cautioned against participating in a pursuit.

"What we'd normally recommend is to be a good witness rather than an involved participant," he said.

White's bond was set at $250,000 Friday during a hearing in Lake County circuit court in Waukegan, authorities said.

Roman was released on a personal recognizance bond.

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