Grace English was leaving the Plaza Bakery on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington during her lunch break Thursday, carrying her wallet containing $7 and her driver's license.
"I was walking two doors down to Dannemann Fabrics where I work when I saw two kids sitting on a planter outside the store," English said.
"People sit there all the time, so I didn't think anything about it," she said, until one of the youths grabbed her wallet and both started running down Wilson Boulevard.
As English, 51, began to run after them two men in a Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company van spotted the three.One man hopped out of the truck and joined the chase while the other swung the van into the entrance of the Parkington Shopping Center to try to head off the youths.
At this point, English said, and off-duty fireman noticed what was happening, joined in and caught the youths while a cab driver called police.
"While minutes there were two curisers, a motorcycle and two unmarked police cars there," English said. Two 15-year-old juveniles were charged in connection with the case, police said. Later, she went to thank the four men who had helped her, but they had left.
"They say people won't help people anymore but i had that disproved," Englishsaid. "All these people pitched in to help someone they didn't even know."