HEWITT, Texas (KWTX) A ‘daring’ robbery that happened as a woman was loading groceries into her car at a local Walmart was caught on camera.
(Hewitt PD courtesy photo)
Hewitt police are now investigating and searching for the suspects who stole a woman’s purse from her cart in the parking lot of the Walmart on Sun Valley Boulevard Tuesday night.
Around 10:30pm, video shows a white car circling the parking lot for several minutes, then a female suspect jumps out of the car and grab’s a woman’s purse as she’s loading items into her vehicle.
A struggle ensues as the victim tries to get her purse back, knocking over her cart and hitting the suspect’s vehicle as it drives off to Interstate-35.
Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said the victim, who was here on business from out-of-state, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“They were going to do this to somebody in that parking lot, I don’t think there’s a particular motive as to why they picked this individual, I think it was just the opportunity,” said Devlin.
Devlin said the brazen crime was very rare for them to come across, and very disturbing.
"There's a huge difference between breaking into a vehicle where there's not going to be anybody, this is actually confronting an individual, the other thing that makes it odd is that our suspect is a female, that's very uncommon for any offenses like this that we have taken reports on in the past,” said Devlin.
“There's so many people there watching this take place: they (the suspects) didn’t care, they didn’t care at all, they didn’t care about the safety of the victim.”
The victim suffered minor injuries including a sprained ankle.
“The potential for even higher degrees of injury are very significant,” said Devlin who worked a case in another city where a woman was severely injured when she was dragged by a vehicle after her purse was grabbed.
In this case, the woman's purse contained credit cards, IDs, cash and personal items, police said.
Although he didn't believe there was much that could have been done in this instance since the suspects came from behind, Devlin said to avoid becoming a victim, consider leaving purses at home or putting them in the car first before unloading groceries.
He also said the child safety restraints in the front of most carts could be used to buckle purses to the cart, making it more difficult for criminals to get away with.
"Also, be alert, pay attention to other people who are paying attention to you," said Devlin.
Detectives are actively looking for the suspects; at least one is a woman with dirty blonde hair who was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and white pants at the time.
“They probably have done this somewhere else in the past,” said Devlin. "I wouldn't be surprised if we get contacted by one of our local partners or law enforcement agencies that has a similar case with the same identifying information that we have."
Police believe the vehicle in the video is a 2014 or 2015 Hyundai Elantra, and pointed out that it had damage on the front passenger side.
Anyone with information on the vehicle or suspects is asked to contact Hewitt PD at (254) 666-6272.