Sex offender charged with purse snatching Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Norman Miller 508-626-3823 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- A convicted child rapist robbed an elderly woman Sunday, shoved her to the ground and stole her purse, police said.

Henry McCollum, 48, who gives a shelter at 105 Irving St. as an address, was ordered held on $25,000 bail at his Framingham District Court arraignment yesterday.  He is charged with unarmed robbery of an elderly person.

The 79-year-old woman said she was approached by a man after she left Walgreens on Rte. 9 at about 3:45 p.m., Lt. Vincent Alfano said.

"The victim said the man approached her and said, 'Can you tell me where there's a liquor store around here,' and then he grabbed the pocketbook and shoved her to the ground," said Alfano.  "She said she hurt her left wrist, right elbow and right hip."

The victim refused to be taken to the hospital.

Witnesses told police they saw McCollum with the pocketbook run into nearby bushes, and then emerge, shirtless, carrying a large, red wallet, Alfano said.

An officer on the way saw McCollum, who matched the description, walking on Rte. 9 East, Alfano said.  McCollum was stopped and witnesses identified him as the assailant.

"He still had the wallet, and it had the victim's identification in it," said Alfano.  "They found the pocketbook where the witnesses saw him go into the woods.

During questioning, he admitted to robbing the woman, he said.

McCollum was convicted in 1976 of one count of rape of a child younger than 16-years-old, and served seven to 10 years in prison.  He was released from prison, but violated his probation, and returned to jail until 2000.

He is a registered sex offender, but is still classified as a Level 0, which means he has not been classified.

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