PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An elderly woman fought back against a suspect who snatched her purse in a grocery store parking lot in West Philadelphia.
Mrs. Jeanette, 78, was getting groceries at the ShopRite at 52nd and Thompson in West Philadelphia on Jan. 13, when a man thought he found an easy target and grabbed her purse.
She then jumped on the hood of the attacker’s car. The suspect then backed up and she fell off, however, Mrs. Jeanette was not seriously injured.
“I sort of lunged at him,” she said. “I jumped on. I know it was ridiculous or a bad move in hindsight, but I was just protecting whatever is mine, which is normal for anybody to do.”
Inside her purse at the time was $100 in cash, her checkbook, credit cards and her favorite brush.
“Even though I’m a senior, I’m a bit of a fighter,” she said.
But there was also a special surprise for some of the children at her church.
“I had ten tickets to the Please Touch Museum and each ticket admitted four and that was one of our planned excursions,” said Mrs. Jeanette.
Southwest Detectives say the thief likely cased the store looking for his victim, before using his car for a quick getaway.
“It just makes you apprehensive and it changes your environment,” she said.
Mrs. Jeanette is now wary about shopping here again.
“It’s invasive. It’s very unnerving. It rocks your foundation, your safety,” she said. “You feel vulnerable.”
Though she can now chuckle at how she responded to being robbed, she knows it could have turned out much worse.
“He did have the humanity to reverse, and if anything, I thank him for that,” she said. “But the road he’s traveling is a dead end.”
A company spokesperson says if a customer ever feels uncomfortable they can ask a manager to escort them out to a car and that they are also working with the shopping plaza’s owners for additional security.