MANCHESTER, NH – A purse-snatcher was foiled by a community of faith after he tried to get away with a church lady’s valuables during a Sunday service.
Steve Doiron, 27, of Manchester, was charged with robbery for the alleged crime.
According to police, on July 12 Doiron grabbed a purse from under a pew belonging to an 87-year-old worshipper at First Congregational Church, 508 Union St., while the woman was standing during the service.
The victim told police Doiron entered the sanctuary about midway through the service and took a seat in the last row directly behind her. Two other worshippers observed Doiron reach over the pew and remove the victim’s purse. They followed him downstairs to the church basement and confronted him, but he fled on foot without the purse. The purse was recovered in a bathroom stall, however the victim’s house keys, car keys and cash were among the missing items, police said.
Alderman Patrick Long was also attending the service and realized what had transpired, so he followed the Doiron outside and was able to briefly detain him, but Doiron got away. Officer Beau Bernard took the initial report and worked diligently with detectives to resolve the case.
Detectives Lucas Hobbs and Mike Lavallee arrested were able to identify and arrest Steve Doiron, 27, of Manchester, at his Lake Avenue apartment on July 19. He was taken into custody without incident and appeared in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester July 20.