Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Public safety

Man faces extortion charge involving theft from grandmother's purse

TAMPA — A man was charged with extortion Wednesday after he stole more than $400 from his grandmother's purse, then demanded that she give him $40 to get the money back, according to Tampa police.

Christopher M. Foster, 29, snatched his grandmother's purse from under her pillow as she was sleeping about 2 a.m. Wednesday, police said. The woman awoke and saw him as he was in the process of removing about $400 in cash, according to an arrest report, and he fled with the purse.

A while later, Foster phoned his grandmother from her cell phone, which was inside the purse, the report said. He demanded that she pay him $40 to return her property, according to the report, and she agreed.

But Foster apparently did not know that his grandmother had notified the police. When he arrived to return the purse and collect his cash, he was arrested, police said.

In addition to an extortion charge, Foster faces a charge of grand theft. He was held Wednesday in the Hillsborough County jail in lieu of $9,500 bail.

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