Elderly woman walking to church suffers fractured hip in violent purse snatching

Published: Dec. 10, 2019 at 5:08 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the latest violent purse snatching on Oahu, a 75-year-old woman was injured early Sunday when a group of men drove up to her, stole her purse and fled.

Surveillance video shows the violent crime unfolding.

It happened about 5:40 a.m. Naio Street in Kalihi as the woman was walking to church.

The video shows a white SUV pulling up alongside the woman, and two people jumping out. One of the robbers then walks up behind the woman and violently jerks her to the ground.

The woman is then dragged across the pavement, still tangled in her purse strap. Sources say the woman managed to let go as the suspect went to kick her.

The group of robbers then sped off leaving her lying in the road.

[Read more: Police urge vigilance after violent purse snatching, uptick in robberies in Waikiki]

The vehicle flees the scene, and the woman can be seen struggling to get up before stumbling to seek help. Neighbors say the woman suffered a fractured pelvis in the incident.

Resident Nanci Both was on her way to work Sunday morning and says she drove past the victim minutes before she was attacked.

“There’s something really wrong with this society,” Both said. “I saw the elderly woman with a few bags. She was walking down the hill. I just waved.”

Both says someone else discovered her injured on the side of the road a short time later.

“Apparently the neighbor who was walking the dog found her and helped her, got her home and called HPD and EMS,” she said.

Sources say this purse snatching is one of at least six robberies that happened in Urban Honolulu just this weekend, and it comes amid a string of violent purse snatchings on Oahu.

Also this weekend:

  • Around midnight in Makiki, a cab driver was robbed of his cash and then carjacked at gunpoint. No word yet if police have recovered the stolen taxi.
  • And in Waikiki, sources say a man was found barely conscious and bleeding profusely from the head after being beaten by a man who got away with his fanny pack.

“It’s to the point where I hate to say you’re almost looking over your shoulder,” Both said.

She added the recent wave of violent crime is all the more reason to be vigilant, watching out for yourself and your neighbors too.

“All we can do is just share the Aloha and watch out for each other," she said.

In a number of the recent purse snatching cases, the crimes appear to be well-orchestrated, with multiple people carrying out the robberies with the help of waiting getaway cars.

Perhaps most worrisome of all: The criminals aren’t afraid to hurt people to get what they want.

Last week, a visitor was injured in a violent purse snatching at Moanalua Gardens.

Police said the suspect grabbed the victim’s purse and ran to a waiting truck. The woman ran after him, but the driver reversed, ran her over and drove off.

And in late November, women were also injured in robberies in Pearl City and in Waikiki.

In the wake of the incidents, police have urged residents to be vigilant.

They also point out that while the crime rate isn’t going up overall, they are addressing the incidents, including by boosting the visibility of officers out on patrol.

Anyone with information on the crimes over the weekend is asked to call CrimeStoppers.

This story will be updated.

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