Alleged purse snatcher has long criminal past

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Muskegon man is charged after a woman was purse snatched and dragged through a grocery story parking lot, resulting in critical injuries.

44-year-old Arthur Sheard Jr. was arraigned Monday on two counts of unarmed robbery and being a fourth offense habitual offender.

RELATED: Police arrest man for purse snatching, dragging woman

The purse snatching happened Thursday evening at the Meijer on W. Norton Avenue in Norton Shores. Investigators say Sheard drove up behind the woman while she was loading groceries into her vehicle, grabbed her purse, and sped off.

But the woman was still holding onto her purse and Sheard dragged her through the parking lot until her body hit a parked car. The woman was hospitalized with critical head injuries.

Police arrested Sheard Friday night at a home in the 500 block of Adams Street in Muskegon. He is also a suspect in an unarmed robbery of a Shell gas station early Friday morning in the 1400 block of Apple Avenue.

Michigan State Police records show Sheard has a long criminal history with drug, robbery, retail fraud, and embezzlement.

Dawn Kelly says at first she didn't make the connection between her neighbor with a Pontiac G6 vehicle involved in the Meijer drive-by purse snatching. "You don't think of your own neighborhood, you don't think of your own back yard." But when police showed up on her street outside of Sheard's house, she put it all together. "He's got a silver G6."

Sheard, who was recently paroled from prison, said he grabbed the 59-year-old woman's purse to get money to buy crack cocaine, according to police. The night before the purse snatching, investigators say Sheard came to a Shell station in Muskegon and took some money out of the cash register.

"The minute she opened up the register, he just lunged at it-- got I think about 20 dollars out of the register," said Kenneth Council. "We've got one camera here over my shoulder. They got a real good shot of him."

He was driving the same car, pulled the video for them. One of the gals got a partial plate number... they just pieced everything all together and that's how they caught the gentleman," Council explained.

The 59-year-old woman who was dragged by the purse snatcher is a licensed day care provider in Muskegon. She is still in the hospital with a serious head injury.


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