NEWPORT BEACH ( — Two 18-year-old male suspects have been arrested in connection with a ring of purse snatching incidents in Orange County.

Michal Polasek, of Newport Beach, and Joshua Taylor Faber, of Costa Mesa were arrested by Newport Beach police on Monday after trying to steal an elderly woman’s purse.

The alleged crime took place around noon that day in the parking lot of a Ralphs near Irvine Avenue and Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach.

“The victim . . . placed her purse in the front of a shopping cart and proceeded to walk towards the Ralphs grocery store when both suspects approached her from behind,” Kathy Lowe, spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department, said. “Suspect Polasek reached into her shopping cart and grabbed her purse.”

Faber and Polasek fled from the area on foot. But Polasek was caught and detained by a witness until officers arrived, police said. His accomplice was arrested a short time later.

Both teens are facing charges of conspiracy to commit petty theft.

Newport Beach police believe both suspects are also responsible for similar crimes that occurred in the area of Westcliff Plaza on Mar. 24 and April 7.

In both incidents, the suspects approached elderly females and grabbed their purses as they were sitting outside of businesses.

Anyone with information regarding these crimes should contact Newport Beach Police Detective Tracy McKenzie at (949) 644-3761.

Authorities recommend that women avoid placing purses in shopping carts and to never leave it unattended.


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