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Video: Good Samaritans stop woman from snatching 90-year-old’s purse

Lacy Lanciloti

RACINE -- A group of good Samaritans stopped a woman who is now charged with snatching a 90-year-old woman's purse. The incident happened at the Piggly Wiggly located on Durand Avenue in Racine.

Video posted online shows it was a group effort. People from all walks of life came together quickly when they realized someone just stole the elderly woman's purse.

The video has spread quickly on social media.  Jamill Lacy says when she watched the video he immediately recognized something.

"I was like 'baby, that's Pucci's truck,'" said Jamill Lacy, knows good Samaritans.

Good Samaritans stop purse thief at Piggly Wiggly in Racine

"I was sitting in my vehicle in the parking lot just nibbling on something before I went back to work," said William Pucci, who parked his truck in front of the alleged purse thief's car.

Pucci, known to most as a barber and commissioner of Racine County Prep Football, says he heard a scream and saw a lady running.

"I remember my first thought was, 'oh some poor child got away from a mother,'" said Pucci.

It actually was the sound of a witness, one of the shoppers who saw the alleged thief, 27-year-old Lacy Lanciloti, take the woman's purse. According to court records, Lanciloti offered to help the woman unload her groceries. The victim refused the offer but Lanciloti still went to hug the elderly woman. As she let go of the embrace, the 27-year-old snatched the victim's purse.

Other shoppers nearby heard the elderly woman's calls for help and saw Lanciloti running across the parking lot. One woman grabbed Lanciloti's car door while Pucci came in from the passenger side and grabbed her keys out of the ignition.

Good Samaritans stop purse thief at Piggly Wiggly in Racine

"I remember her scratching and clawing at me a few times and I wouldn't have been able to tell you that I said this until I saw the video myself, but I said 'if you touch me again, I'm gonna smack ya,'" said Pucci.

Good Samaritans stop purse thief at Piggly Wiggly in Racine

Pucci never hit the alleged thief but another woman did. Eventually, the police came and arrested Lanciloti. Even those who weren't there say it's something they can be proud of.

"I like how this shows that all people from all walks of life can come together in a situation, a crisis, and figure it out," Lacy said.

Pucci he said he just hopes there will be a day when the actions of his fellow citizens are not considered special.

"I’d like to know there’s gonna be a time soon when something like this isn’t at all newsworthy," Pucci said, "I’d like this to be common practice- people doing the right thing at all times."

Police say when they arrested Lanciloti, she had two credit cards in her purse that weren't hers. She's been charged with one count of robbery with use of force, crime against an elderly or disabled person -- and retail theft. She's currently in jail with bond set at $10,000.