AN ELDERLY woman was approached at Ballina Central Shopping Complex on Friday morning by a 39-year-old Ballina man.
While the woman was on her phone/purse, holding it to her ear, the man snatched at it and the victim heard money being taken from the purse.
The alleged thief moved off and was followed by the woman who demanded that he give her the money back.
He threw a $20 note at her then moved away.
Police attended moments later and swiftly arrested the man.
He was taken to Ballina Police Station where he was charged with one count of stealng from a person.
He is now on conditional bail and will face Ballina Local Court in September.