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A student retrieved her purse from a thief after chasing him several blocks Thursday.

Brittany Coats, 18, had just finished washing her car at 7:53 p.m. at 1295 E. 2100 South when a 36-year-old man opened her car door, asked the time, then grabbed her purse and ran, said Salt Lake police spokesman Lt. Phil Kirk.According to her mother, Coats had just gone to the bank and taken out a good sum of money for a girls' preference sorority dance Friday. All of the money was in her purse.

She chased the man over fences and walls, through yards, screaming for help.

Meanwhile, Brian McClung, 34, was watching the end of "Single Guy" when he heard a woman screaming. He looked out of his fifth floor apartment window and saw the chase. He put on his shoes and ran to help.

"She'd caught him in the middle of the street. She was fighting with him,"he said.

Near 1917 S. 1200 East, Coats freed the purse from the man. She grabbed him by the shirt, but he slipped out of it.

This time McClung joined the chase, following the man down an alley and pinning him against a chainlink fence. He watched him until police came.

McClung said the amazing thing was that Coats chased this man even though she was dressed in a skirt, pantyhose and heels and didn't even run her hose. "She still looked ready to go to dinner or something," he said.

The suspect was taken to University Hospital to be treated for injuries.