Chicago man arrested in Elmhurst purse snatching incident

Elmhurst – Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael McLean announced the arrest and pre-prial detention of a Chicago man accused of robbing a woman of her purse on an Elmhurst sidewalk. Willie L. Ranson, age 39, of the 4800 block of S. Chicago Beach Drive, appeared in DuPage First Appearance Court this afternoon charged with one count of Robbery, a Class 2 felony offense.
On July 7, 2024, at approximately 8:06 p.m., Elmhurst Police responded to the area of York Rd. and Schiller St. in downtown Elmhurst for a theft which just occurred. Dispatch advised a male suspect had “snatched” the victim’s purse while she was walking on the sidewalk and ran from the scene.
Officers arrived and learned the victim was walking on the west sidewalk when an unknown male subject came up from behind her and grabbed her purse. A struggle ensued but the suspect gained control of her purse and ran away through an alley. Responding
officers were able to gather nearby security video and a photo of the suspect at the scene. A perimeter was established while officers and a police K9 searched the area for the suspect. While searching the area on foot, officers located an unlocked door to a closed
business on the 100 block of N. Addison Ave, one street west of the crime scene. Upon opening the door, officers observed the stolen purse just inside the door. Officers then gave commands to anyone inside the building to surrender, the suspect complied, and he
was taken into custody. The arrested offender was the same subject seen in the photo and security camera recording from the robbery scene.
“It is alleged that Mr. Ranson robbed an innocent woman of her purse while simply
walking down a public sidewalk,” McLean said. “After Mr. Ranson committed this crime,
he continued his criminal activity by attempting to conceal himself inside a closed private
business. Once again, a criminal thought he could come to our community to commit a
serious crime but was proven wrong by Elmhurst Police Officers. Do not come to Elmhurst
to commit a crime; we will use every method available to pursue and arrest those
responsible. This incident is not representative of the safe environment present in the
Elmhurst City Centre each day and the Elmhurst Police Department will not tolerate
criminal activity that threatens our community safety,” McLean said.
Ranson’s next court appearance is scheduled for August 5, 2024, for arraignment in
DuPage County Circuit Court.
Members of the public are reminded that defendants are presumed innocent and are
entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond
a reasonable doubt.