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Cops ID Suspect Wanted In Brooklyn Purse Snatching; Elderly Victim Speaks Out

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Cody Santiago (credit: handout)

Cody Santiago (credit: handout)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search for the suspect behind a brazen purse snatching in Brooklyn continues as the victim in the incident spoke for the first time.

Wednesday afternoon, police identified the suspect wanted in the purse snatching of the elderly, wheelchair-bound woman as 18-year-old Cody Santiago, of Brooklyn.

Catalina Mateo, 78, spoke with CBS 2’s Dave Carlin, and called the man who took her purse “a bad person.”

“I’m handicapped. He didn’t accept my situation,” Mateo said.

On Tuesday night, police released surveillance video showing a man walking past Mateo, who was riding in her motorized wheelchair, before turning around, snatching the purse and running off in the opposite direction.

The incident took place in Bushwick.

Mateo was unhurt, but left without her purse and everything inside it. She said her purse contained $15, medicine and a blood pressure monitor.  Now, Mateo said she feels scared to even leave her house.

“That could happen again — to me or somebody else,” she said.

Santiago is described as 6-foot and 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray t-shirt and dark colored shorts with a white stripe.

Nobody answered the door at the Grove Street apartment where Santiago lives with his mother.  Neighbors there said that the man police are looking for hasn’t been seen in a couple weeks.

“I never known him to get in trouble or anything — always a quiet kid,” Anthony Jordan said.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

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