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Restaurant employees help police catch alleged purse snatcher

MANCHESTER - Two quick-thinking Margaritas Mexican Restaurant employees chased an alleged purse snatcher from their restaurant and flagged down police, who arrested the man accused not only of lifting a purse at the Mexican eatery but from another nearby club Wednesday night.

The two employees at Margaritas, located at 1037 Elm St., told police they saw the patron place his jacket over a co-worker's purse, which was hanging on the back of a chair in the bar area. The suspect then walked out of the restaurant with the purse hidden inside the jacket, police said.

With the two employees chasing him, the thief tossed the purse behind Bridge Street Cafe and kept running, police said. The employees flagged down Officer Austin Goodman, who picked up the pursuit. The thief only stopped when Goodman threatened to use a stun gun on him, police said.

About the same time, other patrolmen were at The Farm Bar and Grille at 1181 Elm St. where a similar theft occurred a short time before Davis' arrest, police said. Employees recovered that purse in a nearby trash can. It was only missing a debit card.

A review of The Farm Bar's video surveillance revealed the same man stealing a purse in the same way.

Police charged Steven Davis, 41, of Manchester, with two counts of theft, both misdemeanors, and violation of bail conditions. He also was placed on 72-hour hold by probation.

Davis pleaded innocent to the misdemeanors Thursday in 9th Circuit District Court. A status hearing on those charges is set for May 15.

Davis was held without bail pending a bail revocation hearing Friday.

Employees at The Farm Bar and Margaritas declined comment.