Nikita Keel, 24, said she stopped in Spring Lake to get takeout dinners from a Thai and Chinese restaurant on Bragg Boulevard around 5:30 p.m. She was parked in a lot along the 300 block of Ruth Street, police said.
As she was attempting to remove her 3-year-old daughter, Jasmine, from a car seat, a man approached and demanded her wallet.
“I actually thought someone was playing because I didn’t think this really happened. I guess this can happen in places other than TV, but I just thought it wouldn’t really happen to me,” Keel said.
She said she felt something in her back. Whether it was a weapon or just his hand, she doesn’t know.
“That was enough to scare me and give him what he wanted,” Keel said.
Jasmine didn’t catch on to the incident.
“She was constantly trying to get out of the car. I was telling her to stay in the car and get back in the car seat,” Keel said.
The man also took her engagement ring, before running away. Keel did not get a good look at his face.
Keel drove to the Spring Lake Police Department to report the incident.
When Keel started crying, she said her daughter knew something was wrong. Jasmine told her mom she could have one of her toys when they got home, if it would make her feel better.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-323-1500.