A COMMUNITY hero has been praised by police after helping to recover a purse snatched in a robbery outside a care home.

At about 8pm on Wednesday, May 5, police received a report that a 37-year-old care home worker had been confronted by a man outside the property in the Walker area of Newcastle.

The stranger threatened her with a smashed bottle, grabbed her purse and then fled from the area on foot.

However, a Good Samaritan who was in the area at the time made off in pursuit of the suspect before catching up and forcing him to return the property to him.

Unfortunately, the offender was able to make off from the scene and detectives at Northumbria Police launched an investigation.

They were able to identify a suspect and on Thursday, May 6.

The 25-year-old was arrested in connection with the attack.

He was also arrested in relation to a robbery on the evening of Tuesday, May 4 where a 59-year-old woman had her bag snatched as she got off a bus on Cowen Street.

Chief Inspector Gary Richardson, of Northumbria Police, has praised the member of the public who intervened in the first robbery.

He said: “These were two terrifying incidents for the victims who were threatened with violence and had their property snatched from him.

“Thankfully we have quickly identified a subject and within 24 hours of the second robbery we had a suspect in our custody.

“We hope that reassures our communities and shows how seriously we take incidents of this nature.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Good Samaritan who rushed to the aid of the care home worker who was targeted by the thief.

“He made off in pursuit, was able to recover her purse and provide us with evidence that ultimately proved crucial to our investigation.

“We want to thank him for being a true community hero and we know our communities would echo that praise.”

The 25-year-old suspect appeared at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

He was charged with two counts of robbery and was remanded to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday, June 4.