Woman fends off attempted purse snatcher at south Fort Myers car wash

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to Express Car Wash near Gladiolus Drive in south Fort Myers after receiving a call about an attempted robbery Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Credit: WINK News.

A woman was ambushed at a car wash recently. Deputies say a man snuck up behind her and tried to snatch her purse before taking off.

Tuesday, Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to Express Car Wash near Gladiolus Drive in south Fort Myers after receiving a call about the attempted robbery.

According to the deputy report, the woman fought back, and the unknown suspect was unable to get away with money or anything else. The woman did not let go of her purse, and when the strap broke, the man ran away.

Investigators are searching for a male person of interest shown in the image above in connection to an attempted robbery that happened at Express car Wash in south Fort Myers Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Credit: Southwest Florida. Crime Stoppers.

Investigator say the male was wearing a red, flat-brimmed hat and an unknown colored Under Armour-brand shirt.

We spoke to car wash owner Bob Haley Wednesday, who is very upset about what happened, and he’s offering a reward to help get the attacker off the street.

Before 10 a.m. the day of attempted robbery, the woman was looking for change in her purse at the car wash when the accused man came running up behind her.

“Next thing you know … he’s wrestling her to the ground, and she is hanging in there and fighting back, and she really did well,” Haley said.

Investigators say the attacker called the woman a bad word and told her to hand over her purse.

“I was shocked because it happened in the middle of the day,” Haley explained. “I wish I was there because the outcome might have been a little bit different. Maybe things wouldn’t have happened at all, but I just thank God she’s OK.”

Glenn Weissman is also thankful the woman is OK, but he’s not sure it was a good idea to fight over something that could be replaced.

“My mother used to tell me, ‘If somebody is trying to take something, just give it to them,’” Glenn Weissman said. “It’s not worth, you know, possibly losing your life or getting injured over like money or financial stuff, which can be replaced.”

Haley says he never imagined something like this happening at his car wash and hopes it never happens again.

“My hat’s off to her because she did a heck of a job,” Haley said. “She held onto her purse. She did not give up. She screamed, and finally, the attacker gave up, and I’m actually pretty proud of her for that.”

In total, Haley said he’s offering $1,000 to anyone who can give information that leads to an arrest for this crime. Investigators are working to release new pictures of the attacker.

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