Video Shows Elderly Woman Fight Off Violent Purse Snatcher

An elderly woman courageously fought off a thief trying to steal her purse, newly released video shows. Tracie Strahan reports.

(Published Friday, Jan. 12, 2018)

What to Know

  • An elderly woman fought off a purse snatcher inside an apartment building on the Upper East Side on Tuesday, new video shows

  • Police said the woman fell to the ground during the struggle with the suspect and the robber took off after she screamed for help

  • Officials said they later determined the same two men, along with a third, were part of a similar robbery last month on a 23-year-old woman

An elderly woman courageously fought off a thief trying to steal her purse, newly released video shows.

The video released by the NYPD shows the 80-year-old woman inside a building on the Upper East Side Tuesday around 8 p.m. when a man suddenly grabs her purse and tries to make a getaway with it.

Police said the woman fell to the ground during the struggle with the suspect. She screamed out for, according to police, and the would-be thief quickly ran off once a man ran out of his apartment to help.

A second man, who officials said was standing outside as a lookout, ran away with the suspect.

Police released surveillance images of the suspects. NYPD

Police said they later determined the same two men, along with a third, were part of a similar robbery last month. A 23-year-old woman tried to fight back against the trio, but they ultimately shoved her to the ground and ran away with her purse. They also got away with headphones and $180, according to officials.

Both women suffered minor injuries, but were not hospitalized, authorities said.

Anyone with information about the suspects should contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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The state of the region’s transit infrastructure was brought front and center following a string of major incidents involving subway and commuter trains. An Amtrak train derailed at Penn Station in March, then, less than two weeks later, a NJ Transit train derailed at the station after hitting a piece of wood. In the coming months, stalled trains, failing rail signals, track problems and power outages would lead to massive delays and service issues; a report on LIRR delays found they were the worst in 10 years. Desperate straphangers tried to break out of a sweltering, powerless subway car in early June. Weeks later, dozens of people were hurt when an A train derailed in Harlem. The next day, Gov. Cuomo declared an MTA state of emergency. Two weeks later, Amtrak began a two-month-long overhaul of the tracks below Penn Station, an effort Cuomo famously predicted would be a “summer of hell” for displaced commuters. The overhaul wasn’t as bad as predicted, but led to widespread service changes for hundreds of thousands of people.

AP