Elderly Woman Robbed At Bethany Cemetery Speaks Out


Friday, September 6th 2013, 9:43 pm
By: News 9


Bethany police arrest a suspect Friday accused in the violent robbery of an elderly woman at the city's cemetery.

A second suspect is on the run and the victim is speaking out for the first time.

It had only been a week since Tona Herndon buried her husband of 60 years. She was robbed at his gravesite in broad daylight.

"I'll never forget those eyes," said Tona Herndon.

Even though police have arrested 39-year-old Shane Lynn Lunsford for robbery and possession of a stolen credit card, Tona Herndon distinctively remembers her robber's face.

"He is not the man that got my purse," said Herndon. "There was a driver. I did not see the driver, I saw only the one young man."

8/20/2013 Related Story: Bethany Woman Mugged At Cemetery Visiting Husband's Grave

It was around 5:00 p.m. on Thursday when Herndon says she noticed a white car parked on the other side of Bethany Cemetery. As she tried to get inside her car, she was approached by a man who violently snatched her purse off her arm.   

"All at once, this guy grabbed my purse and I hung on to it and he pulled me out of the car," said Herndon.

With nothing, not even her car keys, Herndon and her dog, ‘Pappy', had to take off on foot for help.

"I was afraid to stay there and I was very upset. Pappy and I walked all the way up hill to 63rd St. We were in the very back of the northeast corner of the cemetery."

She found an open office in the Wiley Post building on 63rd.

"I said, ‘I've been robbed,'" said Herndon.  

9/6/2013 Related Story: Bethany Police Arrest Man Accused Of Robbing Woman At Cemetery

The robbers got away with a purse full of money along with credit cards and personal information. Police say Lunsford tried to use one of those credit cards at the Neighborhood Wal-Mart on 23rd and Penn.

"It's an awful feeling that someone would do that," said Herndon. "I had never had an experience like that before."  

Police believe the suspect on the run could be driving that four door white sedan.