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Pantagraph staff

NORMAL - Twin City police are investigating two purse-snatching incidents about half an hour apart in store parking lots in Normal and Bloomington.

The first incident was about 7:50 p.m. Monday in a parking lot in the 300 block of South Veterans Parkway, police said. One woman was loading purchases into her vehicle when a second woman grabbed her purse.

The victim tried to hold on, but lost her grip, police said. However, the victim chased the other woman, who dropped the purse, entered a vehicle and fled, Normal police said.

The other one was at 8:20 p.m. Monday in a parking lot in the 1600 block of East Empire Street.

In that case, a purse was stolen from a shopping cart, Bloomington police said. That purse contained checkbooks, credit cards and two cell phones.

Two women riding in the same car are believed to be suspects in both cases, which are being investigated by both departments. Shortly after the Bloomington incident, Bloomington police located the car thought to have been used in both incidents.

Normal Police Lt. Mark Kotte said the snatchings are not connected with signs posted in other area stores. Those signs warn patrons about a series of thefts involving people who distracted elderly patrons to steal wallets from their purses.

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