Shoppers take down Orange County Publix purse-snatcher

20-year-old man didn't get far after stealing woman's purse


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A woman ambushed by a robber outside a Publix on South Hiawassee Road is speaking to Local 6 about her ordeal.

While a man got away with her purse, he didn't get far thanks to some alert shoppers who took him down.

"I was terrified. Nothing like that has ever happened to me," said the 57-year-old woman. "I guess he picked me as an easy target and caught me by surprise."

She has two broken fingers after 20-year-old Rivr Niebel allegedly snatched her purse. After getting cash at the ATM, she started walking to her car and that's when she heard footsteps.

"Before I knew it this man had run up and grabbed my purse out of my hand. I struggled thinking maybe I could overpower him and get my purse back, but he took off running across the parking lot," the woman said.

It was her screams that caught the attention of several people nearby who followed after him.

Surveillance video shows Niebel strolling by the Chevron gas station across the street. Then he's confronted by two men who recognize him. As he tried to run away, he's cornered, chased and held down by two good Samaritans until police arrive.

"Words cannot express how I feel how they helped me and how it made such a difference in the outcome," said the woman.

Niebel has been arrested charged with robbery and grand theft.