A would-be thief was caught in the act but escaped before police could arrest him, according to Columbus Division of Police incident reports.

A woman said she was standing in line at a store at 11:35 a.m. Sept. 18 in the 3600 block of West Dublin-Granville Road when she noticed a man had placed a newspaper over her purse, which was in the child's seat of a shopping cart.

According to the victim, the man's hand was under the newspaper, inside the purse, and he was trying to remove items from it.

The woman yelled at the man, asking him if he was stealing her wallet.

The man replied, "No," removed his hand and dropped the wallet, according to reports. He then attempted to walk past the victim, and she grabbed him by the shirt and asked if he had stolen anything, to which he again responded in the negative left the store and drove away from the parking lot. All of the woman's property was recovered, according to the report.

In other recent incident reports from the area:

* A $280 pair of shoes, $300 worth of handbags and a $50 pair of flip-flops were reported stolen at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 19 from a store in the 3700 block of West Dublin-Granville Road.

* Between 3 and 9 a.m. Sept. 22, someone stole $3,000 worth of barber equipment, $700 cash and a $250 wallet from a vehicle in the 5800 block of Scenic Edge Boulevard.

* A $15,000 SUV was stolen between 3 and 10:30 a.m. Sept. 23 from the 8000 block of Harmill Drive, according to reports.