An elderly female was distracted and knocked to the ground during a strong-arm robbery in Gulf Breeze Wednesday, Dec. 7, according to police. A Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers alert shows the same female with the same vehicle committing a similar crime in Gulf Port, Tuesday, Dec.6.
Gulf Breeze Police Chief Rick Hawthorne said the two crimes were carried out similarly with similar suspects and vehicle. His department gained photos of the vehicle used in the Gulf Breeze robbery as it fled the area. Photos provided by Crime Stoppers in Mississippi show what appears to be the same vehicle, with a cooler in the bed of the truck. The tag on the truck was not visible in any of the photos.
Gulf Breeze Police issued a bulletin saying around 3:40 p.m. Wednesday, a woman and man in a charcoal gray colored Ford F150 with a child in the back seat, snatched the purse of a Gulf Breeze woman at the CVS in Gulf Breeze. It is reported the woman asked the older lady for directions to gain her trust, then hugged her and knocked her to the ground to take her purse. After grabbing the bag, the woman fled with the man and the child in the vehicle. Security cameras at the scene captured photographs which have been circulated online through the police department’s Facebook page.
Also on the Gulf Breeze Police Department’s Facebook page is a copy of a Mississippi Crime Stoppers Facebook post showing what appears to be the same woman and truck Tuesday. That post describes the same method of strong-arm robbery: knocking an elderly female down and grabbing the purse, also occurring this week. In that incident, the victim was injured, according to the release.
Hawthorne said, “Unfortunately, this is the time of the year when some people are taking and not giving. They did this in broad daylight, in the heart of the city. It was brazen. It was an orchestrated plan of attack by the suspects to get someone to let their guard down. Unfortunately, it worked on (the victim).”
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call the Gulf Breeze Police Department at 850-934-5121.