RACINE — A Racine woman used a phone app to track down the man who allegedly stole her purse on Sunday, and then followed him to the mall and pointed him out to police.

The suspect, William D. Hunter, 30, of the 800 block of Sixth Street, Racine, is charged with two counts of felony personal ID theft, two counts of felony bail jumping, two counts of misdemeanor fraudulent use of a credit card, receiving stolen property and resisting an officer.

According to the criminal complaint:

The victim said she was in front of her house in the 3200 block of Victory Avenue and was trying to get her kids and her autistic nephew into the car when her nephew ran into the street. She dropped her purse to go after him but forgot to pick it back up when she put him in the car. When she came back for the purse about 5 minutes later, it was gone.

Using another phone, she logged into a phone-tracking app and saw that her phone was at Regency Mall, 5538 Durand Ave. The victim then headed to the mall and called police.

The victim saw that her credit card had been used at GameStop in the mall, and so she asked employees there who had used her card and was given a description of the suspect. She then saw the suspect, later identified as Hunter, walking through the mall with a GameStop bag in his hand. She noticed through her tracking app that tracker put the phone at a jewelry kiosk where Hunter was standing.

When an officer confronted Hunter about the situation, he became visibly upset.

When officers attempted to detain him, Hunter tried to run but was stopped by a mall security guard. An officer then took him to the ground. Hunter attempted to get off the floor; police shocked him with a Taser, then took him to a waiting patrol wagon.

Some items recovered

Police located the victim’s credit cards and cellphone in Hunter’s possession, but did not find the purse or the $170 the victim said was inside it.

Two receipts found on Hunter showed that he spent $289 on a PlayStation at Game Stop and $45 on gas from Fine Fare Foods on Durand Avenue. The victim returned the PlayStation to Game Stop to recover the $289.

Court records indicate that Hunter was previously convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver in Racine in 2014, possession of marijuana and felony bail jumping in Racine in 2008 and possession of marijuana in Racine in 2005.

Hunter was in custody at the Racine County Jail as of Monday evening.

A preliminary hearing on the new charges is set for 8:30 a.m. on May 22 at the county Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave.

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Caitlin Sievers covers cops, crime and the west-end communities. She's a lover of cats, dance and Harry Potter. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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