Police: Suspect held door for 80-year-old before pushing her, snatching her purse

April 3, 2013

Prince George’s County police on Tuesday arrested a Lanham woman who they say held open the door of a carry-out restaurant for an 80-year-old woman, then pushed her down and tried to snatch her purse.

LeJean Nicola Lancaster, 25, was charged with robbery and second-degree assault in the incident, which occurred at Eastern Carryout in the 7000 block of Berry Road in the Accokeek area, authorities said. Police said they are also looking for a man who tried to help Lancaster get away.

The incident began about 12:15 p.m., police said, when Lancaster held open the door of the restaurant for the 80-year-old and her husband. As the couple walked, police said, Lancaster shoved the woman, grabbed her purse and ran.

She did not get far. Police said the woman’s husband and a bystander tackled her, and she bit both of them as they held her down. They said another man — believed to be working with Lancaster — hit the bystander in the face, then ran away.

Police took Lancaster into custody at the scene, and they said she “admitted her involvement in the robbery.” The other man — who did not get the purse — remains at large, said Cpl. Larry Johnson, a Prince George’s County police spokesman.


LeJean N. Lancaster (Prince George's County police)
Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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