Norfolk coffee shop owner runs after thief who stole customer’s purse

NORFOLK, Va. - One of the owners of a local coffee shop took action and chased down a thief after a customer's purse was stolen. The Coffee Tree is nestled on Colonial Avenue and 30th Street.

Walter Bordeaux, one of the owners, said they are doing everything they can to make the community a better place and show customers they are safe and protected.

As seen in surveillance video captured Saturday afternoon, a group of five teen boys takes off running. Shortly after, a young woman runs behind them.

"I had a feeling something was up," said Bordeaux, when he initially saw the group of teens. He said two young women were having lunch outside when these teen boys snatched one of their purses. He immediately ran after them.

"I was going to run them down believe me. I wasn't going to stop until I caught them. Until every last breath to do what's right," said Bordeaux.

His business partner, Dee Stewart said she's surprised he got the bag back because there were five teens and they could have distributed the bag amongst themselves. She said Bordeaux is active military and with her experience as a former prison guard, they both have the knowledge to tackle these situations.

"Both of us have this knowledge of how to handle these situations just because we've been brought up in both of them. It actually works out great," said Stewart.

Bordeaux said he cornered two of the teens and got the customer her purse back with everything in it. He and his partner believe that sends a message not only to customers The Coffee Tree is a safe place to be but also to crooks who are looking to start trouble, they aren't going to put up with it.

"We need to make our customers feel safe. It can't happen here. It's not going to happen here," said Stewart.

Bordeaux said, "If something comes across my way, I'm there to do what I can to help protect the coffee shop."

More than a month ago, Bordeaux and Stewart became the new owners of The Coffee Tree. Stewart said her favorite part about the business is meeting new people and getting to know her regulars well.