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

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 or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Share Your Thoughts In The Comments Section Below…

  • Peter

    Cody needs to be locked up !!!!!!!!!!!

    • emmas

      The city is so unsafe with all these white criminals running around. If it just wasn’t so difficult to find a nice meth lab in the five boroughs.I am a 28 years old doctor, mature and beautiful.and now I am seeking a good man who can give me real love , so i got a username Lindasunny2002 on–a’ge’l’es’s’da’te.c óm–.it is the first and best club for y’ounger women and old’er men, or older women and y’ounger men,to int’eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch’eck ‘it out or tell your friends!

  • As Usual


  • JC

    That is one dirty looking dude right there. Sensing some serious heroin issues. He’ll be dead within a year.

  • thor's hammer

    hey punk. you better hope nypd arrests you, and not a neighborhood watch/vigilante posse. the folks at riker’s won’t take kindly to you ripping off a handicapped senior citizen. better hope i’m not on your jury. ny should have a 3 strikes & you’re a lifer rule. notice to your soon to be public defender/family – spare us the garbage that “he’s a good boy, the drugs made him bad” nonsense. justice for the victim. be afraid punk, be very afraid

  • Pat Johnson

    Most likely a sorrowful Junky ,How low can a human go but to
    steal from the poor and feeble?.
    I hope the street puts him out of his misery.
    Where are the folks coming forth to give this victim some money
    and some help getting her stolen papers back?


    I am sure Cody is a junkie. He has a serious beating waiting for him. I hope he can take it like a man.

    • In the wazoo!!

      I think it’s more likely he’ll be taking it like a woman if you know what I mean. He’s kind of pretty and will be shared by many of the inmates. Hope he can handle the beatings and sodomy that he will likely be treated to.

  • Disgusted

    Mr. Santiago is either hispanic or latino, depending on his preference. That is not a mullet; he has a 1940s woman’s haurstyle, though it needs washing and conditioning.

    He’s exceptionally stupid too. Elderly people have fixed incomes, and rarely have as much as the $ 15 he stole. She was probably buying her weekly groceries with that $ 15. Next time he needs to mug a drunken man, who may carry more cash!

  • NYSmike

    Is that a pic of a mug shot he already had on file? Still wearing that same gray shirt!

  • Omar

    The city is so unsafe with all these white criminals running around. If it just wasn’t so difficult to find a nice meth lab in the five boroughs.

  • Rob

    Maybe he needed the money to keep up that awesome mullet.

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