MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Three young people charged in a purse snatching that seriously injured an elderly Memphis women are connected to a new crime. Investigators say the MO is the same, targeting an older woman out shopping.
It was a shocking crime on Aug. 5. Crooks going after an 81-year-old woman in a Kroger parking lot. The victim wounded so badly she had to get staples in her head. Memphis Police made three arrests with the help of witnesses who saw the getaway car. That case, and the car, helped the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office crack another case.
It was an appalling crime at Kroger Mendenhall in East Memphis.
“Never saw them. It was so fast,” the victim told WMC Action News 5, “People were around me putting groceries away.”
The victim was attacked in broad daylight.
“I felt this yank,” she said. “Of course, it pulled me out into the parking lot and I rolled over and I’ve got bruises and scrapes.”
Her purse was stolen and her head badly injured, police say, by 25-year-old Amberly Rankin, 18-year-old Colby Neagle and 18-year-old Michael Patton.
And now we learned that one week before that attack, Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies say the trio pulled the same thing at the southeast Shelby County Lowe’s on Winchester. A woman walking through the flower section was attacked on July 31, and her purse was stolen.
A court affidavit says the thieves tried to use her credit cards at the Walmart in Cordova, the footlocker inside Oak Court Mall and an ATM inside a gas station in the 2900 block of Poplar Avenue.
An employee at Lowe’s got a picture of the suspects’ car. SCSO detectives got a partial tag number and checked the law enforcement databases. They discovered the car at Lowe’s matched the one Lauren Sigley saw the Kroger suspects take off in after they knocked the victim to the ground.
“I saw this lady,” said Sigley, “like fly on the ground and this guy just run.”
Detectives say it was Amberly Rankin’s Scion XD. SCSO investigators say Michael Patton stole the victim’s purse at Lowe’s. All three are now charged in another cowardly crime.
“It makes me mad,” said Sigley, “but at the same time it makes me really sad that people would do that.”
They face robbery charges in the Lowe’s purse snatching, and aggravated robbery and assault charges in the Kroger purse snatching. All three were released on their own recognizance. Unlike the Kroger victim, the Lowe’s victim, fortunately, was not seriously harmed.