Local News

Woman, 66, injured in Southpoint purse snatching; police search for suspects

Posted January 11, 2016

— Durham police are searching for information in connection with two purse snatchings that were reported at the Streets at Southpoint mall in the last two weeks.

According to police, the first incident was reported on Dec. 30 at about 2:40 p.m. A 66-year-old woman was walking in the parking lot near Belk when she was knocked unconscious.

The victim, who spoke to WRAL News but did not want to be identified, said she wants her story to be a warning to other shoppers.

"Just be alert...be aware," she said.

The woman said she does not remember much but felt a tug at her purse.

"I jerked back because someone was trying to get my purse," she said.

She said she looked to her left and saw a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

"I don't remember getting off the ground or anything. I don't remember being on the ground," she said.

But according to witness accounts, the woman was on the ground and knocked unconscious.

"One of (the witnesses) said he took the heel of his hand and pushed my head into the pavement and took off," she said.

When the woman came to, she said, her purse was gone, and she was covered in blood.

"When I was in the EMT van, my whole T-shirt was saturated in blood," she said. "The day after, you could see bruises on my arm from three fingerprints. I have a bruise on my hip and a bruise on my knee. I think he was a bad guy because he didn't just grab the purse."

The second incident happened Jan. 2 shortly before 8:30 p.m. Police said the muggers were described as tall, slender men who were wearing light-colored clothing and masks. The men left the scene in a white, four-door car, possibly a Mazda.

No weapons were used in the incidents.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 919-560-4583 or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.


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  • Allen Jones Jan 12, 2016
    user avatar

    It is so obvious that WRAL has gone out of their way to not include the race of the attackers as black, in this description...........But they include the clothing description as "light colored".....So what is up? Is WRAL clothing/racist against light colored clothing? Hilarious.

    Anyone with any intelligence regards race in a criminal description. Why? Because race can't be hidden or changed. Who gives a dam about the clothing,... which can be hidden or changed.

    WRAL has gone and gotten stuck in the far left position and then broken off at the handle.

  • Roy Hinkley Jan 12, 2016
    user avatar

    That actually looks like a 2006-2007 Honda Accord sedan.

    The chrome grill accent, with the hanging Honda logo on it, and the air intakes (fake fog lamps) under the headlights are pretty distinctive.

  • Becca Barfield Jan 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Definitely a honda accord in the photo, not a mazda....

  • Richard Hertz Jan 12, 2016
    user avatar

    According to the reporters News Philosophy: "News should always be informative and factual at its core. But if the story lends itself to it, news can also be art – a beautifully told story that reminds us of the power of life and the fascinating people, places and events that fill our world.

  • Eugene Irene Jan 12, 2016
    user avatar

    WRAL in the spirit of PC does not warn us about the criminals by giving a description. I wonder why they are so irresponsible?

  • Dee Sides Jan 11, 2016
    user avatar

    Good reason to carry pepper spray, carry a small purse in your pocket, and have a concealed permit for just these occasions.

  • Alex Stephens Jan 11, 2016
    user avatar

    Of course you'll have to look elsewhere to read this description of the suspect - "The suspect was described as a black male in his late teens or early 20s, tall and slender."