Photo by Dale Klippenstein

Photo by Dale Klippenstein

Robber hits woman in face and then steals her purse in Abbotsford

Police want to speak to 2 witnesses who encountered suspect before incident

A woman was struck several times in the face on Sunday when she encountered a man rummaging through her vehicle in Abbotsford.

Abbotsford Police say the incident took place at about 5:15 p.m. in a parking lot at a business complex in the area of Sumas Way and Marshall Road.

After the victim confronted the man and he hit her, he then grabbed her purse and ran away.

A man matching the suspect’s description was arrested a short distance away.

Thomas Edward Grace, 48, remains in custody and is facing charges of theft and assault.

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According to the provincial court database, Grace has numerous prior convictions for offences such as assault, driving while prohibited, resisting a police officer, mischief, break-and-enter, possession of stolen property, theft, trespassing and breaching his bail and probation conditions.

Police say that video footage obtained by investigators shows that the suspect had contact with two other women before the robbery.

One of the women had a brief conversation with the man at 5:08 p.m. as she used the ATM at CIBC. The woman was wearing a grey or denim-type top, a black skirt or shorts, and black boots.

The second woman purchased a sandwich for the suspect between 5 and 5:14 p.m. at the complex’s Subway restaurant.

The woman had dark hair and was wearing glasses, a blue sweater and black pants.

Investigators would like to speak to both of these witnesses, and they are asked to contact the APD at 604-859-5225, text the department at 22973 (abbypd) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.



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