SIKESTON - Two runaway juveniles from Franklin County were arrested Sunday evening following a purse snatching at Wal-Mart.
The juveniles were taken into custody after being pursued by citizens who witnessed the incident and chased the suspect until officers arrived.
According to the Department of Public Safety, a juvenile male grabbed a Wal-Mart shopper's purse from her cart while she wasn't looking and then fled across South Main at about 8:30 p.m. The purse was reportedly thrown at pursuers during the chase.
Department of Public Safety officers were aided by a witness who relayed information about the suspect's flight on her cell phone, reporting that the suspect jumped into a vehicle parked on the Days Inn lot.
Officers followed the suspects onto the Sonic lot and blocked the exit. The suspect driver, a female juvenile, drove directly into a blocking DPS vehicle causing minor damage and injuring PSO Brian Dover's leg, according to the DPS. Dover was treated and released from Missouri Delta Medical Center.
As the vehicle used by the suspects was reported stolen from Cape Girardeau Sunday, the juveniles are facing auto theft charges in addition to first degree assault on a law enforcement officer, second degree robbery and stealing.
DPS Director Drew Juden praised the actions of all involved stating that it was a community effort in the apprehension of criminals and an example of what can happen when people are willing to get involved.
Juden said the cooperation was outstanding and without the help the suspects may still be on the run.