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Woman grabs purse back from robbers

Updated: Sep 24, 2010 11:36 PM EDT <em>Friday, September 24, 2010 11:36 PM EST</em>

David MacAnally/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis – Metro Police are looking for three purse snatchers who picked on the wrong victim outside of an area supermarket. It happened in the Kroger parking lot in the 5100 block of West Washington Street Thursday morning.

Robbery victim Cynthia, who preferred not to give her last name, was on a run-of-the-mill shopping trip until she had to run for real.

“Normally I don’t put my purse in the shopping cart,” she said.

But she had to Thursday as she came out of the West Washington Street Kroger. Recovering from cancer surgery, Cynthia couldn’t carry much.

“Just as I reached for my purse, she grabbed it,” said Cynthia.

The thief, a woman in her twenties, jumped into a rolling getaway car.

“First thing came to my mind was, ‘No, you didn’t just do that,'” said Cynthia.

But Cynthia was about to do something too. “I stood in front of the car,” she said.

Cynthia walked to the passenger side window and put her arm through the open window into the car as the car moved forward.

“I tried to reach for this girl with my purse and she keeps saying, ‘It’s just a purse.’ I’m thinking, ‘but it’s mine,'” said Cynthia.

Another woman in the back seat was apologizing to the victim.

“The girl in the front seat who took my purse kept saying, ‘Speed up, speed up.’ The driver said, ‘No, she’s still holding on.’ I think he had a conscience,” said Cynthia.

As the car left the parking lot, Cynthia was running with the vehicle, which had started to drag her. She realized she couldn’t let go without getting hurt.

“I’m already committed,” she said.

Then they threw her wallet and purse from the car and took off. She lost no money.

“I sat down on the bench and thought, ‘What have I done?'” she said.

Sgt. Paul Thompson with IMPD says it’s not advisable to confront robbers.

“She’s very fortunate. She’s an exception to the rule. We recommend to people not to pursue someone who has committed a violent crime against them,” he said.

Cynthia concurs. “Honestly, I would not recommend it. It’s very dangerous.”

She says it was just the adrenalin doing her thinking.

Police are looking for a man and two young women in their early twenties. They were driving a late eighties or early nineties four-door blue car.

Call Crimestoppers if you have information at 262-TIPS.

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