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Man admits purse snatchings, drug habit

Published On: Jan 08 2013 12:11:22 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 08 2013 12:15:24 PM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

A Madison man admitted to police he snatched purses and was supporting a heroin habit after an officer connected the man’s car to a theft incident, according to Madison police.

An officer said he spotted a car pulling into a West Badger Road liquor store Monday night with license plates that matched the plates of a getaway car used in a purse snatching at a Walmart on Watts Road Monday afternoon.

A 60-year-old Madison woman’s wallet was taken while she left her shopping cart unattended. Police said a store security spotted Justin O. McCarthy, 35, take the wallet from her purse and provided police with a description of the man, description of his car, and license plate information.

The security officer told police it was the same man who had taken a shopper’s wallet in October.

McCarthy denied wrongdoing, but admitted guilt when officers told him about eyewitnesses and surveillance videos.

Police found heroin and drug paraphernalia in McCarthy’s car after a K-9 responded to the scene. McCarthy admitted to police he had a heroin habit.

Police also believe McCarthy was involved in copper thefts in the area.

He was arrested on suspicion of two counts of theft, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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