Daniel Edward Thomason, 47, is charged with robbery by sudden snatch, entering auto and simple battery.
Detective Candy Worthy, public information officer with the Canton Police Department, said the victim was putting items in her car when Thomason approached her from behind, placed an object to her back and tried to force her into the car.
The woman began to fight back, but Thomason grabbed her purse and sat down in the vehicle, which was opened and unlocked, police said.
Worthy said Thomason then closed himself inside the woman’s car and continued to go through her purse. The woman pressed the panic button on the car’s keyless entry device, which locked Thomason in the car and activated the alarm, she said.
Worthy said the woman was able to alert other shoppers and told a male witness Thomason may have had her wallet.
The witness got Thomason out of the car and asked him to lift up his shirt to show whether he had any of the victim’s possessions, police said, and also checked Thomason’s pockets.
Other witnesses called 911 and police arrived on the scene shortly after.
Thomason was arrested without incident at the scene and was transported to the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center, where he remains, according to police. Worthy said the woman sustained minor bruises on her arm in relation to the incident.
Worthy said Thomason was recently released from jail on a related charge and could face additional charges, as the woman did not remember having an object being pressed into her back until later.