PORTLAND, Ore.—

How far would you go to retrieve your most treasured possessions? To save her family photos, Tammy Elliot of Northeast Portland chased down a thief and ended up riding on the hood of his car.

A man grabbed Elliot’s purse in the Gateway Fred Meyer late Friday morning. When he left the store, Elliot followed as fast as she could — in spite of a recent knee replacement surgery, which slowed her to a fast walk.

“I just wanted my pictures — there wasn’t any money in the purse,” Tammy Elliot told The Oregonian.

Elliot made it to the man’s car in the parking lot just as he jumped inside. Screaming for the man to give her back her purse, Elliot wasn’t deterred when he revved the engine. Instead, she jumped aboard.

Perched on the hood of the car and clinging to the windshield wipers, Elliot kept screaming.

“I was yelling at him to give me back my purse,” Elliot said. “He kept turning the wipers on trying to get me to lose my grip, revving the engine and driving back-and-forth trying to sling me off the car.”

After what Elliot estimated was a distance of about four blocks, the man chucked the purse out the window. Elliot tumbled to safety, and the man drove away.

Although she lost her wallet, the uninjured Elliot was pleased to have her pictures back.

The suspected purse snatcher remains at large. Police describe him as an approximately 5-foot-9 male in his 30s with short brown hair, a thin build, and dark clothing. He was driving a small, newer, blue, two-door car.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 503-823-0830.

When not writing, Sierra can be found conducting experiments in the chemistry lab or whipping up delectable creations in her kitchen. With a passion for storytelling, Sierra puts her natural curiosity to use investigating enlightening angles for news and events here at The Oregon Optimist.