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Sacramento Grandmother In Wheelchair Attacked By Purse Thief

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Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A wheelchair-bound grandmother was robbed by a woman who pulled so hard on her purse, it knocked her wheelchair over.

Vickie Westrum has made the trip down to the Rainbow Market hundreds of times and never had any trouble. But she says the woman who snatched her purse and the man driving the getaway car knew exactly what they were after, and she’s convinced it wasn’t their first time.

The hurt she feels after her trip to the store that ended in the hospital goes deeper than her bruises, cuts and scrapes.

“I don’t understand people,” she said. “I’m a good Christian woman. I would never do anything to hurt anybody.”

The Sacramento grandmother who’s been wheelchair-bound since losing her right leg to diabetes appears to have been targeted for no other reason than she couldn’t defend herself.

She says a woman hopped out of a white car on a Del Paso Heights street corner and started ripping the Westrum’s purse right out of her hands.

“And kept yelling, ‘Let me have it let me have it,’” she said. “I should’ve let her have it but I didn’t.”

The woman pulled hard enough to rip the purse straps, and in the process topple Westrum’s wheelchair. That’s how paramedics found her—flat on her back in the street.

“She took all my IDs, my medicines, my money, which wasn’t much,” she said.

Her husband of 35 years, Larry, is a man of few words. But make no mistake, Larry is outraged.

“I was shocked,” he said. “Didn’t quite understand at first; didn’t realize it would really happen, something like that.”

Vickie, who donates food to her neighbors, says if the suspect needed something, all she had to do was ask.

“I would’ve gave you my money,” she said. “All I needed was my medicine.”

No arrests have been made.

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