OKC Police Investigate Rash Of Armed Purse Snatchings

Thursday, December 22nd 2011, 9:55 pm
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A number of violent purse snatchings have been keeping police busy as the holiday shopping season winds down. Police reports show armed robbers are targeting women throughout Oklahoma City.

The latest robbery happened outside the Wal-Mart at I-240 and Santa Fe. In all of the cases, the women are approached as they walk to their cars.

"He held a gun to my head," victim Abree Jeffers said about a man she calls her attacker. "He threw me across the parking lot."

Police say Jeffers, a mother of a 2-year-old girl, was held at gunpoint by a man outside the Family Dollar on Northwest 23rd near Robinson. Surveillance video shows the suspect following the mom and her daughter out of the store.

"I'm waving my arms, screaming for help, [and] nobody's stopping," Jeffers said.

Jeffers says the suspect beat her and took her purse from inside her car. Jeffers then ran after her attacker and fought to get her purse back.

Three days after Jeffer's attack, police say, a man with a gun stole a woman's purse in a parking lot at Northpark Mall. Police say, most recently, a pair of thieves used to stun gun to knock out a woman at a South Side Walmart before taking her purse.

"Your safety, your life is more important than anything," Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow of the Oklahoma City police department said.

Wardlow advises that it's best to shop in groups, keep cash and valuables out of sight, and not follow the lead of Jeffers. If a robber demands your money, Wardlow says, give it up.

"Everybody is telling me nothing's worth your life," Jeffers said.

Oklahoma City Police say they have not seen a spike in robberies this holiday season. No matter the season, police say, be aware of your surroundings especially at night when people might not know what's waiting for them in a dark parking lot.

Police are still looking for all of the recent robbery suspects. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 235-7300.