L.I. Purse Snatchers Target Women in Their Driveways

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCNewYork
    A sketch of the suspect police are looking for in the drive way robberies.

    A spot where most women would feel safe has become a crime scene in Nassau.

    Seven women in the county have been mugged in their own driveways since late October, police said. In each case, their purse was stolen.

    "The lady was screaming and her husband went after the guy in his car," said Anna Dockweiler of East Meadow, who heard one attack in her neighbor's driveway. "It's bad out there."

    Two men are believed responsible for the attacks and Nassau police have released a sketch of one, wearing a hooded sweat shirt.

    He's described as a black male with a thin build, about 20 years old, standing 5'5" tall. The other attacker is also a black male, 20 to 25 years of age and standing about six feet tall.

    They have never displayed any weapons, police said; but have been violent with their victims.

    "In some cases, the women have been shoved to the ground if they put up any resistance at all," said Nassau police Det. Lt. Kevin Smith.

    The attackers have struck in six Nassau county communities- Baldwin, North Merrick, Merrick, East Meadow, Levittown and Wantagh, Lt. Smith said.

    In each case, it appeared they followed their victims home, possibly after they left stores along nearby Hempstead Turnpike. The men are said to be driving a dark, four-door sedan.

    Most of the attacks occurred between seven and eleven at night.

    "It's scary," said Martha Weissman of Levittown, as she loaded groceries into her car outside a supermarket. "We're helpless because we're not as strong as they are."

    Outside one victim's home in Levittown, two neighbors said everyone is now watching each others back.

    "I worry about that all the time now," said Tom Ciccone. "My wife comes out at night and I have to think about that and keep an eye on her."

    Anyone with information on the purse snatchers is asked to call Nassau Police at 1-800-244-TIPS.

    Women arriving home at night are advised to remain vigilant- watch for anyone following you and look around before getting out of your car.  And try to ensure that lights are on outside your house before you arrive.

    Anna Dockweiler had another protection plan.

    "Anyone coming to my door that I don't know, I am going to have a large object in my hand to hit them right in the head," she said.

    Still more fight than fear from a fed up eighty-one year old.