Gun-toting woman foils purse snatcher's plan

Donald James Peckinpaugh
Donald James Peckinpaugh
Vernon Dale Rowe (Photo source: Ocean Springs Police Dept.)
Vernon Dale Rowe (Photo source: Ocean Springs Police Dept.)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A would-be purse snatcher got more than he bargained for when the 61-year-old woman he tried to rob pulled a gun on him.

Ocean Springs Police were called to Walmart Wednesday night around 8:30 to investigate the attempted robbery.

The woman said she was loading groceries into her vehicle when a man walked up and tried to take her purse from her shopping cart. She held on to it, but the man wouldn't give up. Finally, the victim pulled out a .380 caliber handgun she carried for personal protection and pointed it at the man, who quickly ran away.

The woman wasn't injured during the assault.

Investigators used the store's security video to help identify two suspects. Sixteen hours later, they tracked the men down to room #107 of the Imperial Motel.

Donald James Peckinpaugh, 27, and Vernon Dale Rowe, 33, are each charged with one count of robbery, and are being held in the Ocean Springs Municipal Jail, awaiting an initial appearance. Police said both men were homeless at the time of their arrest.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Ocean Springs Police Department at (228) 875-2211.

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