63-year-old woman recalls purse snatching

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A 63-year-old woman shared her side of a brazen east Memphis robbery. The woman was robbed in the parking garage of the Crescent Center, located at Poplar Avenue and Ridgeway, last week.

"I wanted my purse, all I could think about is I had nothing, everything was in my purse," Sheila Sanderson said with a laugh.

Sanderson, sitting with her two dogs Wednesday, is now able to laugh about the incident, but the bruises and scratches on her face are reminders of the tense situation she was in last Thursday afternoon.

She was walking into the Crescent Center for a dentist appointment and was just 20 feet from the door when a man came up from behind her and grabbed her purse.

"I mean, I was right on the sidewalk by the front door and there's security inside," Sanderson said.

Shocked, Sanderson did the first thing that came to her mind and chased the robber back into the parking garage.

"And I tripped and fell down on the curb and scratched my whole face, got a black eye, a bloody nose," she said.

The thief got away with between $300 and $400 in cash, Sanderson's credit cards, car keys, and phone.

Sanderson said she realizes chasing the culprit probably wasn't the safest thing to do, but she said she felt like she had no choice but to protect her property, saying she would chase the man again if she had to.

Now she's warning other women carrying purses to not be victims too.

"Be careful wherever you go and look around, and if you can not carry your purse, don't carry your purse," she said.

Witnesses told police they saw the suspect in a dark four-door vehicle, possibly a Mazda. The Tennessee tag number was 870 LQT, but Sanderson said she's been talking to police and the tag is possibly stolen. Anyone with information should contact the Memphis Police Department.