MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A robbery at a Raleigh Walmart cost a Memphis family their future home.
A mother says a thief stole her purse at the Walmart on Austin Peay Highway this weekend, and inside the purse was cash to be used for a deposit on a new home.
Most people would think if anyone's going to be robbed in the parking lot, it'd be in back parking spaces and perhaps by someone wearing a mask or disguise, but the victim says she was right at the front with plenty of people around to witness.
"I was just in shock really, in total shock at first," said Ashley Oakley.
Oakley says she never would've thought she'd be targeted while walking to a car in the front of the Walmart parking lot in Raleigh. She said she was just two spaces away from the store entrance.
She says it was 11:30 p.m. Saturday and she was getting picked up by a family member. She says she answered a phone call right as she was about to get to her ride.
"As I'm reaching to open the door, I feel jerking on me," she said.
She said someone grabbed the purse that was hanging from her shoulder.
"I turn around to a female, about my height, blonde hair, skinny, just jerking me as hard as she can just trying to get my purse."
Oakley says at first, she put up a fight.
She says her $300 purse had hundreds of dollars in cash in it she'd just earned working cleaning jobs. That money was supposed to go toward a down payment on a new place for her and her family.
"Someone can just pounce in just like that, take everything from you," she said.
The purse also had in it a phone, ID cards, social security cards for her and her teenage son, makeup, perfume and gift cards. She dropped her own phone in the struggle as well, causing the screen to crack.
"We fought and when the strap broke, I kind of fell back and she took off, and I tried to chase her and she jumped into a silver car and took off."
Taking the cash that Ashley needed for her new place.
She'd already moved out of the last one and is now trying to think of a plan B.
She hopes the suspect gets arrested for the sake of anyone else out there. She said she was in a silver Buick, possibly a Le Sabre.
"If they were that bold to do that to me with all of that right there, what would they do to someone else the next time?"
Oakley hopes this serve as a reminder to never distract yourself with phones or anything else when you're out.
Memphis Police are investigating this case and are hopeful they'll be able to find something on the many cameras they have around the lot.