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Local Worker Takes Down Suspected East Village Purse Snatcher

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A suspected purse snatcher was caught in the act and stopped by a good Samaritan in the East Village.

As CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported, the take down was caught on camera Thursday.

Surveillance video shows Matthew Gonzalez, an employee at Top Notch Security, living up to the surveillance camera store's name as he chased down a suspected purse snatcher.

"We watched him, and he eventually stole some lady's purse. I chased after him, grabbed him, and before you know it the cops were on him," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said he recognized the suspect, wanted by police, and jumped into action when the man stole a woman's purse as she sat in front of a restaurant on Avenue B in the East Village.

Witnesses saw the dramatic scene play out.

"She got really scared, her computer fell on the floor, she tried to cross the street to run after whoever it was, somebody stopped her," Bara de Cabrol said.

Gonzalez said the man in the video is possibly connected to other recent purse thefts in the area.

"I thought, 'Let me catch this guy, because he's going to keep doing it again if he's not caught," he said.

Police initially came to the store to see if cameras captured the same suspect this past Sunday, turns out they did.

On Sunday, it's believed the same man was caught on video running down the street in front of the security store carrying a stolen purse.

"I blanked out chasing him, I wasn't thinking, I could have gotten hurt, I've got two kids, it was a risky situation," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez is glad he was able to help police, before the suspect struck again.

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