FARMERS BRANCH, Texas - A Good Samaritan chased down a man who targeted a handicapped great-grandmother in a grocery store parking lot and tried to steal her purse.
Farmers Branch police say a man seen on surveillance video outside the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Josey Lane zeroed in on an 81-year-old woman loading her groceries and stole her purse.
The Good Samaritan was able to chase the thief and retrieve the purse back, but the suspect managed to get away.
The grocery store was a routine stop in a familiar place for Peggy and did not expect what happened to her last Thursday night.
“As I got the trunk opened, I reached back to get my groceries. And that's when the man appeared right there, grabbed my purse and ran across the parking lot,” she recalled “I was hollering real loud, as loud as I could. I said, ‘That man has got my purse!’ And I kept repeating that.”
Peggy uses a walker and a cane to get around and tried for a few steps to follow the thief as he ran across the parking lot.
Farmers Branch police say the man seen on surveillance ran toward another car but was stopped Michael, a Good Samaritan.
“I don’t know what possessed me, and I just took off running,” he said.
Michael asked FOX 4 not to use his full name. He says he had just spoken to his own 81-year-old mother on the phone when he heard Peggy's cries.
“He's running, and I just grab the arm with the purse and jerked it loose,” he said. “And when I did, it flew him this way and slammed into his car.”
The thief got into a small, dark blue car and took off. Michael immediately took the purse back to Peggy.
“I was so relieved,” she said. “I just bent over a car, crying and shaking.”
Peggy says her relief had nothing to do with what was in the purse. She had a little more than $40. It was the violation that hurt ad seeing someone help that took the edge off her pain.
“I just can’t thank him enough for helping me because I don’t know what I would have done because I fell to pieces after it was all over with,” she said.
Peggy says she has severe osteoporosis and could have fallen and been seriously hurt. There was another man who stopped to call police and comfort Peggy. He stayed with her until her family arrived. She doesn't know who he is but wanted to thank him, too.
Peggy says she hopes other folks will see her story and be careful running errands.
Police hope anyone who recognizes the man in the photos should give Farmers Branch police a call.