Brooklyn woman chases down young cell phone thief

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WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (PIX11) -- Clara Vondrich often starts her day at her favorite coffee shop, Freehold,  around the corner from her home in Williamsburg.

The 36-year-old climate crusader for a social change communications company does a lot of her work from there.

On Friday afternoon she took a business call outside, and that’s when someone snatched her phone right out of her hands while she was talking.

“All of a sudden the phone disconnected,” Vondrich said.

At that moment, the stylish Brooklynite turned into Superwoman in heels.  She instinctively took off after the 13-year-old alleged iPhone thief, and caught up with him at South 6th Street and Wythe Avenue where she put him in a bearhug until police arrived.

But during the chase, the suspect handed off the iPhone to one of his friends who ran off with it.

Using an app, cops tracked it down to an apartment in the neighborhood.  But without a search warrant, they couldn’t go in.

So Clara, the fearless crime fighter, walked away empty handed but with a heart full of compassion for the young suspect she saw in handcuffs.

“I feel for him,” said Vondrich.  “It’s a teachable moment, and I really hope we can get these kids back on track, and that they don’t feel the need to knock ladies down and steal their phones.”