Sailor recognized for foiling purse snatching – Pacific Daily News


A suspect who tried to run off with Cynthia Manibusan’s purse falls into hedges and flees from the Micronesia Mall parking garage on Dec. 23, 2017, according to her husband Joey Manibusan who obtained and provided the security footage. Courtesy of Joey Manibusan

While the Manibusan family awaits the apprehension of a suspect who tried to take Cynthia Manibusan’s purse at the Micronesia Mall, they celebrated one victory: Finding the Samaritan who helped stop the man from getting away with her belongings.

Manibusan on Thursday said a man clad in a gray cap and a red long-sleeved shirt tried to take her purse in the parking garage. She said as she chased after the culprit, she screamed for help.

Another man tackled the suspect, who had jumped through an opening in the parking garage wall, Manibusan said. Both men tumbled into the hedges outside the parking garage and the suspect managed to get away on foot, fortunately leaving behind Manibusan’s purse, she said.

Manibusan forgot to get the name of the man who helped her. After her story was published online Thursday, friends of the man forwarded her story to the man’s wife.

Erica Mugavero sent a Facebook message to the PDN identifying the good Samaritan as her husband, Anthony Mugavero, and the PDN sent the Mugaveros contact information to the Manibusan family.

Manibusan’s husband, Joey Manibusan, a Guam Fire Department fire marshal and assistant fire chief, called Anthony Mugavero and thanked him over the phone.

“He was just saying thank you to me and was really thankful that I helped him out,” said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Mugavero. Mugavero is a master-at-arms 1st class with Naval Base Guam’s harbor security. 

Anthony Mugavero said he, his wife and kids went to the Micronesia Mall to see the holiday lights show on Dec. 23. On their way back to their car, he was pushing his son in a stroller when he heard someone yelling for help and heard someone yell, “He took my purse!” 

“As I was turning around, my wife goes, ‘He’s right there, help her,’” Anthony Mugavero said. “I saw him take a right outside of the complex and the fastest pass was over the wall so I went over the wall, got him and he dropped the purse.”

Anthony Mugavero said he didn’t know if the suspect was armed, so to be safe he didn’t pursue him further.

“I wanted to make sure Mrs. Manibusan and her daughter were OK, so I went back, gave them the purse. She was real shaken up obviously.”

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Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr. on Friday presented a certificate of recognition to Mugavero for his brave conduct at the mall that day. Cynthia Manibusan was also at the presentation.  

“I’d like to thank you for your heroism,” Cynthia Manibusan said. “You helped me and my daughter.”

Anthony Mugavero said he was glad to be at the right place at the right time.

After being presented with a certificate from the senator, Mugavero said, “It’s not that big of a deal.”

“At the end of the day, I’ve been doing this for 12 years, being a (master-at-arms),” he said. “That’s how it is. If somebody needs help, you help them out, to the best of your ability.”

Joey Manibusan said Mugavero also can help identify the suspect for police.

“Now not only can we thank him, now we’re able to get somebody to ID the perpetrator,” Joey Manibusan said. 




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