Caught On Video: Shirley Rupp, 64 Takes Down Purse Snatcher

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A weight lifting grandmother wrestled a purse-snatcher to the ground before chasing him off – and it was all caught on camera.

Shirley Rupp, a 64-year-old real estate agent, found herself in a one-on-one physical confrontation with a hooded man after he snuck up behind her outside a strip mall in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 1.

A surveillance camera shows Rupp pulling the man to the ground by his sweater and grabbing her wallet back from the unidentified would-be thief.

“It was total reaction, I was walking to my car from Subway and all of a sudden he was behind me,” Rupp told ABC News. “I just thought he was so close that I grabbed his jacket and then he tripped. And evidently dropped my wallet.”

Rupp said both she and her friends are shocked because she is a peaceful person.

“It’s out of my character to react like that,” she said. “I don’t even watch action movies.”

The man was able to get back to his car, but dropped Rupp’s wallet before running off. Rupp chased him but he managed to escape.

“Now I am a pretty fast runner for a little distance, but I had on flip flops,” Rupp said.

Before the situation turned dangerous, Rupp said she attempted to help the man.

“We have a lot of homeless people here, and he just looked like that. I thought maybe I’ll ask him if it’s ok if I can give him a sandwich,” she said. “But then I caught his look that seemed kind of mean, so I said to myself I’m not going to.”

Rupp credits her weight lifting regimen to nabbing the would-be thief. Her regular workout combines cardio and weights at her gym.

Days later after the incident, Rupp still thinks back to it.

“You do kind of start having flash backs of it,” she told ABC News. “You think, oh my gosh, he could have had a gun or a knife, or anything. I certainly am not carrying my purse under my arm anymore. I am probably more aware of things.”

Source: ABC News, Pima County Sheriff’s Department