Deputies investigating purse-snatching incident near Bealls in south Fort Myers

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:
Photo via CBS News.

Deputies are investigating a purse-snatching incident at a south Fort Myers store on Wednesday.

A woman was near the entrance of Bealls when a man attempted to take her purse, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office incident report. The store is at 13300 S. Cleveland Avenue.

The woman held on to the purse and was dragged for about 10 feet before the man could get away with her belongings, the report said.

The woman was injured and taken to a hospital by EMS, the report states.

Two witnesses described the incident to deputies.

One person said the getaway vehicle was an older dark red or maroon-colored vehicle.

A second witness attempted to chase the vehicle, but it got away.

People shopping there on Friday were shocked to hear of the incident.

“It’s very unjust,” said Janice Brown, of Canada. “It’s awful. It’s just I’m not used to that from where we live so I think that it’s disgusting that people would do that.”

Lee County resident Henrietta Heise said she shops at nearby stores and is scared of what happened.

“They probably look for subjects who probably might be vulnerable,” Heise said. “I don’t know if it’s due to the economy that people are taking more advantage of others, that’s possible.”

WINK News Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko said this is probably not a first-timer.

“They probably had a plan that they carried out, maybe scouting out the shopper inside the store knowing what an escape plan would be,” Kolko said. “But the fact that they had a car and a way to get away showed that they put some thought into this.”

Brown said she makes a habit of looking at her surroundings.

“If I see something suspicious, I kind of just get away,” Brown said.

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