Evanston police have arrested a man who they say grabbed a woman’s purse from her car as she was waiting in line at a car wash.

The incident happened about 4 p.m. Monday at the Suds car wash on Green Bay Road.

Police say the victim, a 49-year-old woman from Wilmette, had been waiting in line on the Ashland Avenue side of the car wash building. When the man reached into her car and grabbed her $2,600 Louis Vuitton purse, she got out of the car, chased after him and managed to get him to hand it back.

Police say the thief then tried to run off, but two witnesses chased after him, and they were joined by an Evanston police officer who took the suspect into custody.

The suspect, Steven Elmo Hatfield, 44, of 2040 Dodge Ave. in Evanston, now has been charged with burglary for taking the purse from the car.

Hatfield was on parole for retail theft and a parole violation warrant has been issued.

He’s scheduled to appear in Skokie district court at 9 a.m. on April 16.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Blame the landlords

    Wow, this scumbag lives down the street from me!

    I am so glad he got caught.

    Maybe if there were stricter laws against these slumlords in this exact neighborhood that don't run the background checks on the people before they rent out these lowest priced apartment units, or for a fact I know rooms only, maybe the people like these would not a have a chance to road around Evanston Neighborhood and terrorize people like this.

    1. Haven’t you heard?

      … scumbags like this aren't the problem

      … it's those B&B visitors to Evanston who roam the streets and wreak havoc on our community.  This is where our priorities need to be.

  2. Theft

    At some point especially older in life going in and out of jail should get a bit old…don't you think? It never has been fashionalble for me.

    I always felt better working for mine.

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