Illinois man sentenced for purse-snatching robbery

Booking photo shows Ronald Collins III. (Photo provided/TCSO)
Booking photo shows Ronald Collins III. (Photo provided/TCSO)

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A Lansing, Illinois, man will spend time behind bars for a purse-snatching robbery that happened back in April.

Thirty-two-year-old Ronald Collins was sentenced Thursday in Tippecanoe County Superior Court to a four-year sentence, which includes one year on probation.

As News 18 previously reported, police arrested Collins and Stacey Cooper after the victim says they took her purse on North Salisbury Street in West Lafayette on April 24.

Prosecutors said men took her purse right after she withdrew money from an ATM. The bag contained her cellphone, debit card, license and about $225 in cash she just withdrew.

Court documents said a witness heard the victim calling for help and saw the men running away with the purse. The bystander told police he tried to stop the men. But Cooper said, as he was reaching into his waistband, he had a gun and would shoot the witness. The men took the purse and fled.

The men were located a short while later. According to police, the victim’s money and personal items were found on them. Even though the ditched the victim’s bag, it was recovered in a nearby yard.

Both men were charged with robbery and theft in April and both have pleaded guilty to the charges.

Cooper’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 15.