Alleged bike-riding serial purse snatcher nabbed

A homeless Key West man remained jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond Friday following his Thursday arrest for allegedly doing ride-by purse snatchings on his bicycle.

Michael Soraghan, 45, is charged with grand theft and sudden snatching, both felonies, and more charges are possible. 

Key West police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said he was caught about 4 a.m. when Officer Brian Leahy pulled him over on his Trek at Elizabeth and Fleming streets for not having a light on his bike. Leahy then recognized him from a surveillance video that was taken during a purse snatching hours earlier.

Crean said a woman reported around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday that she was at Truman Avenue near Packer Street when a man on a bicycle rode up from behind her and stole her purse. A surveillance camera at a Truman Avenue business captured a clear image of the robber, Crean said.

Then just after midnight Thursday, officers were called to Truman Avenue and Center Street, where a couple reported a man on a bike and "tore" her purse from her shoulder, then rode away.

Crean said Soraghan's description and alleged method of snatching match at least three similar occurrences since Feb. 17. Some of the stolen stuff, including a smart phone, has been recovered.

In October, Soraghan was arrested for felony theft and not registering as a convicted felon.