Parishioners tackle purse snatcher during Mass


The suspect accused in a string of purse thefts in Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill section is now in police custody after being arrested Sunday morning during a church service.

“The individual came in about 10 minutes after the service started, and he sat right here, about five pews from the back of the church,” said Fr. John Dinello, of the Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish.

Fr. Dinello says ushers were warned to be on the lookout for the suspect, identified by authorities as Eric Csurrilla, during morning Mass at Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Troy Hill.

He says within minutes, Csurrilla was caught, allegedly trying to steal an elderly woman’s purse.

“As the people started filing out of their pews to go to Communion, she left the purse on the pew; he came right up and snatched the purse,” said Fr. Dinello.

Several parishioners tackled the suspect as he tried to run out of the back of the church and held him for police.

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