75-year-old victim hopes teen suspects in purse snatching turn their lives around

The teens were seen on surveillance video in the Sprouts Farmer’s Market moments before the theft

A 75-year-old victim of theft is hoping her message encourages three suspects in her purse snatching to turn their lives around.

SAN ANTONIO – A 75-year-old victim of theft is hoping her message encourages three suspects in her purse snatching to turn their lives around.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, said she had no idea she would be in this kind of situation.

“I stopped by the Sprouts Farmer’s Market on Callaghan Road to pick up a dozen eggs before going to my sister’s house who lives nearby,” the woman said. “I just got a taco and I decided I was going to eat my taco before going into the store. So, I pulled into the handicap space in front of the entrance.”

While eating her taco, the woman said she noticed three young teens standing outside the store staring at her.

“They were three nice-looking young men,” the woman said. “They kept looking at me, but I just thought maybe there were waiting on their mother or grandmother to come out and take them home. I was there eating my taco and I was there for about ten minutes.”

She said the boys then walked away out of her sight.

“I got out of my car and I had my purse wrapped in my arm and my keys in the other hand,” she said. “Suddenly this guy, I didn’t see him at first he was so fast. He dashed in front of me, grabbed my purse, jerked my arm away. Your natural instinct is to hold on to it, which I tried to do.”

She said her grip was so strong on the purse that it caused the teen to fall.

“I am already screaming, ‘Stop! Stop!’ Honestly, I can see it as clear as day,” she said. “He sprang up like a cat when it lands on their back. They flip over lightning-fast. And he took off across the parking lot. I am screaming there standing. I screamed and screamed, ‘Stop him! Stop him!’”

Because the woman said she is getting ready for a knee replacement, she couldn’t go after him herself.

“If my legs have worked better, I could have probably jumped on him,” she laughed. “But my knee resisted and I just stood there and he took off like lightning fast.”

While people in the store called police, the woman said she walked to the gas station, which is the direction the boy was running in.

“I was thinking, maybe he dropped my purse and just took out my phone or wallet,” she said. “I never found it. I wandered around in the rain crying for about a while.”

She said the police officers who showed up after the incident were kind and helped her despite the pouring rain.

She even said she went dumpster diving with her husband, hoping the teens threw her purse away, which held a lot of sentimental items.

“I was very angry,” she laughed. “I wanted to catch those kids and I wanted to shake them and say, ‘What are you doing! Why would you do this to someone!’”

She said she gets emotional thinking about the entire situation.

“It is just disappointing when you think people are good and I truly do believe there are good people out there,” she said as she got emotional. “It is hard for me to believe kids like this are on the wrong track and that because of the choices they make at this age of their life, the rest of their life can be drastically affected and that makes me sad.”

She encourages others, especially those in the senior population, to be even more vigilant.

“I have never been a person who was not aware, but obviously, I missed this,” she said. “I would say I am going to be much more aware of my surroundings than I have been in the past. I think I am going to wear a cross-body purse,” she laughed.

She also had a message to the teen suspects who she said she would actually love to meet.

“You’re young…you got a lot of choices ahead of you,” she said. “If you make the wrong choices and bad choices, it will only lead you to worse places and you will have fewer choices and fewer opportunities ahead of you in your life.”

San Antonio police are asking anyone with any information regarding the suspects’ whereabouts to contact their property crimes unit at (210)207-7441.

If caught, the teens could be charged with theft of an elderly person.

Also on KSAT:

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.