Woman tracks down purse snatcher at Regency Mall using phone app

William Hunter purse snatcher

A man accused of stealing a woman’s purse was caught using her credit cards at Regency Mall Sunday after she tracked him down using a phone app. Now that man is facing several felony charges.

William Hunter, 30, of Racine, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with receiving stolen property, two counts fraudulent use of a credit card, two counts of felony personal identity theft, resisting a police officer and two counts of felony bail jumping. If convicted of all charges, Hunter faces up to 51 years in prison and/or fines up to $80,000.

According to the criminal complaint, officers with the Racine Police Department responded to a call Sunday from a woman whose purse was stolen. The woman explained that she was in front of her home in the 3200 block of Victory Avenue when she trying to get her nephew, who has autism, into the car. He had run into the street and she dropped her purse on the sidewalk to go get him. When she went to go get the purse, it was gone.

Using another phone, the woman used an app to track Hunter down to the Game Stop store in the mall. She then called the police. When officers arrived on the scene, the woman was following Hunter through the mall as he was standing at a jewelry kiosk.

The officer confronted Hunter at the jewelry kiosk about using the stolen credit card at Game Stop. Hunter’s “lips began to quiver and he began to look around” and he refused to answer the officer’s questions. The officer felt like he was going to try to run away. But another officer walked behind Hunter as he told Hunter that he was being detained.

The officer standing behind Hunter began to put handcuffs on him when Hunter yelled that he wasn’t going to be arrested.

“Hunter tried to run to his left but he ran into a mall security guard,” the complaint reads. “Hunter bounced off the guard and (the officer) decentralized Hunter to the ground.”

Trying to push himself off the floor, the officer shouted Taser, Taser and he deployed the Taser, which struck him in the back. The officers recovered the woman’s cell phone and credit cards, but not her purse or the cash she had. Hunter had used her credit card at Game Stop and Fine Fare Foods for a total of $334.

Hunter is being held at the Racine County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. May 22.


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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.