When an elderly woman went grocery shopping in Anaheim last week, she didn’t imagine that she would end up being dragged nearly 150 feet across a parking lot in an attempted purse snatching incident.
NBC in Los Angeles reports that 67-year-old Imelda Niess was putting her groceries into her vehicle when a white sedan drove close enough to her that a passenger inside the car grabbed her purse.
Anaheim Police say the incident happened on Thursday, February 13th at the Anaheim Walmart located in the 400 block of North Euclid Street. At approximately 8:00 A.M., Niess came out of the Walmart store and was getting ready to head home with her groceries when two women in a white Nissan drove close by and attempted to steal her purse.
Niess held on to her handbag even as the driver of the suspect vehicle hit the accelerator, dragging Niess alongside approximately 150 feet.
Eventually, the would-be purse snatcher let go of the purse and sped away. Niess was left lying on the pavement with deep scrapes and abrasions to her arms, legs, abdomen, and her hands.
For Niess, it wasn’t about the money. Inside her bag, she told NBC reporter Vikki Vargas, was her paycheck as well as the security code she uses to get into the retirement community where she lives with her husband, Steve, who is a cancer patient.
Now bearing the scars of her ordeal, Imelda Niess has a bit of advice to other women, particularly women who are elderly as she is. “Let it go, and don’t bring a purse,” Imelda said. To avoid being a victim in a similar incident, she also warns to be aware of your surroundings.
Police determined that the two suspects were in the store at the same time that Niess was, but that they didn’t interact. Authorities have posted pictures of the two women that were taken from security footage inside the Walmart store. One an older woman as being in her 20’s or early 30’s while the second woman is slightly older. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating the women and are encouraging anyone with any information to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIPS-OCCS.