June 12, 2009

V-tines purse snatcher gets 10 years

A DuPage County, Ill., purse snatcher who said he was trying to raise money to take his wife out for Valentine's Day was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Authorities said Donald Brown, 30, of Lombard, was arrested Feb. 14 after grabbing a 78-year-old woman's purse in Glen Ellyn and police soon determined he was the same man who snatched an 82-year-old woman's handbag Feb. 9. Investigators said he told officers that he stole the purses to raise money for a Valentine's Day night out with his wife.

Brown pleaded guilty in May to two counts of aggravated robbery that were enhanced due to the advanced ages of the victims, authorities said.

Prosecutors told the Chicago Sun-Times they welcomed the 10-year prison sentence imposed Thursday by Judge Perry Thompson.

It sends a strong message that if you prey on the elderly, you're going to get whacked, DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett said.