Poplar Bluff man chases purse snatcher, stops theft - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff man chases purse snatcher, stops theft

"It was someone in need of help,” Miller said. “I would have [done it for anyone]. I wouldn’t have thought twice.” "It was someone in need of help,” Miller said. “I would have [done it for anyone]. I wouldn’t have thought twice.”
POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

It all happened around 10:30 p.m. on Monday at the Poplar Bluff Walmart. Don Miller chased a thief on foot across the parking lot after the suspect took a woman's purse and ran.

"It was someone in need of help,” Miller said. “I would have [done it for anyone]. I wouldn't have thought twice.”

The would-be robber is Tyler Maxfield. He is now facing charges thanks to the bravery and quick thinking of the former marine.

“I heard a lady screaming,” Miller said.

Miller, his mother and his girlfriend had been in the store together, but then separated for a just few minutes. That's when Donna Smith said a man grabbed her purse.

“All I could think of was to fight and I fought him with everything I had,” Smith said.

The thief got the purse and ran. That's when Don Miller turned around.

“I realized that some guy was trying to rip a purse off a lady,” Miller said.

It wasn't until later that Miller realized that woman was his mom.

“I ran all the way up the embankment there, to the chain length fence,” Miller said.

In the meantime his girlfriend, Mary Kinworthy, called police.

“I confronted him, told him to get down, and chased him down a little bit,” Miller said.

“I was shocked because I thought the guy had gotten away and come to find out the police officer said that he had had him and pinned down then they got there so, he's our hero,” Kinworthy said.

“I just wanted the bad guy to pay for what he did,” Miller said.

Smith said she's proud of her son, but she's definitely learned some valuable lessons. Now, she carries only a wallet, tucked in her pocket, so it's tougher for potential thieves to snatch.

“It's small,” Smith said. “I had never been the victim of a crime and I never want to be a victim of a crime again.”

There are tips like that they says we all can learn from.

“Always be on guard,” Kinworthy said.

“Be aware of your space. I learned a lot,” Smith said.

“I was really proud of my mother for, making it loud. If anything bad happens, stop and just start screaming,” Miller said.

And, besides that, there's a moral take-away, as well.

“This is our community. We have to look after each other, look after each other, whether its family, friends, or just an innocent person in need of help,” Miller said.

Miller is currently working towards a degree in criminal justice.

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