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EXCLUSIVE: Elderly Victim In Rash of Purse Snatchings Speaks Out

Liz-Hur-web-headshot Elizabeth Hur
Elizabeth Hur has joined CBS 3 (KYW-TV) as a general assign...
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By Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An elderly victim in a rash of purse snatchings is sharing her frightening story exclusively with Eyewitness News.

This as police issue a warning for elderly women to be on extra alert in South Philadelphia.

“It’s terrible what they do to you, why do they have to hurt you like that.”

Just released from the hospital with her arm still in a brace, the woman wished to remain anonymous but shared her story hoping to prevent someone else from falling victim.

“I have to depend on my daughter to do everything for me and I was a very outgoing person, never depended on anybody. I feel sorry for anybody else it’s happened to.”

The 72-year-old says she also never needed a cane that is until now. She just spent weeks in the hospital with a broken shoulder and fractured pelvis; injuries she sustained during what police call a disturbing crime pattern.

“I saw this man creeping up running fast. When I turned around to look, I felt like I flew through midair, he took my pocket book with everything in it and took off like a jack rabbit down the street.”

According to police, the first robbery occurred on November 7th in the 3600 block of Earp Street around 9 a.m. Then on November 17th, police heard from two more victims: the first around 8 a.m. in the 1200 block of S 20th Street and later about 7 p.m. in the 2100 block of Fitzwater Street. The fourth incident was reported just this past Sunday in the 1500 block of S. 24th Street shortly before 8 a.m.

Police say all of the victims are women in their 60s and 70s. All told police they were approached from behind, knocked to the ground and robbed of their purse. The victim from Sunday told police the thief even ran off with her bible.

“It’s not fair, everything you have, you have to replace and I will be paying for it for the rest of my life.”

She says getting robbed of her belongings was one thing but what’s more upsetting for her is being robbed of her independence.

As for the investigation, police say because all of the victims have been attacked from behind, the suspect description is vague. Police in the area are on the lookout but in the meantime, anyone with information about this crime or suspect is asked to contact: South Detective Division at 215-686-3013.