Man charged in Providence purse-snatching spree

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police in Providence believe they have the man responsible for ripping the purses away from three women, landing one of them in the hospital.

Justin Rose, 27, is facing numerous charges after his arrest in Pawtucket on Saturday.

Police said their investigation began Thursday after a woman reported she was walking on Bayard Street when a man came up behind her and took her handbag.

The same thing happened the following day to a retired nun outside Gregg’s Restaurant on North Main Street. She fell to the ground during the robbery, according to police, and was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries.

Major David Lapatin said they obtained a photo of the suspect from the restaurant. As investigators worked to put a name to the face, police said he struck again on Saturday, snatching a purse from a woman in the 800-block of Hope Street.

After identifying Rose as the suspect, police said they spotted him driving in Pawtucket later on Saturday. Rose led officers on a chase that weaved in and out of Providence and Pawtucket until he crashed on the Cottage Street off-ramp from I-95, according to Lapatin.

“We saturated the area. It took us a couple of days but we got him,” Lapatin said. “We’re on top of everything, and I would feel completely safe in the city of the Providence.”

Rose is charged with first- and second-degree robbery, and Lapatin said he will also be charged with assault on an elderly person. Court records show Rose is also facing misdemeanor charges out of Pawtucket as a result of the police chase.