​81-Year-Old Chases Robbers After Snatching Purse At Rite Aid, Victim Rams Car

81-Year-Old Chases Robbers
Author: Michael StevensBy:
Staff Reporter
Feb. 19, 2016

An 81-year-old chases robbers after the purse-snatching bandits ran off with her purse. The Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania suspects are now facing a flew of charges after the elderly victim tried to stop them by chasing them with her own car, USA Today reports.

81-year-old Alice Makla used her vehicle as she chased down the robbers who snatched her purse from her while she said in her car in her driveway. A car parked in the quiet Mount Pocono neighborhood shows some front end damage.

81-year-old chases robbers with car in Rite Aid parking lot

81-year-old chases robbers with car in Rite Aid parking lot

Makla’s neighbor Steve Jabara arrived 20 minutes after the robbery happened. “One of the fellows reached in and grabbed the purse. She was talking to them, the window was open and they ran with it and she tried to chase them,” said Jabara.

The 81-year-old chased the robbers during a pursuit and also hitting their getaway car, but the robbers still drove off. Pocono Mountain Regional Police say officers found their damaged car in a nearby Shop Rite parking lot a short time later.

The car’s occupants, William Hayhurst, 34, of Swiftwater and Erin Vanmatre, 30, of Cresco admitted to the crime. They were arraigned on robbery and other related charges.

“She rammed their car, left some marks on it, and police had at least something to go on and they were apprehended today,” said Jabara.

“Good for her! I honestly think, good for her!” said Maria DePinto. “Honestly, they actually picked on that wrong person, so wrong day to pick on her.”

“I’m an old lady. I would fight. I’m 76, so I would go!” laughed Rosemarie Peise.

Police say the robbers targeted the 81-year-old after Vanmatre noticed how much cash she had while both women were at Rite Aid. Vanmatre and Hayhurst then followed Makla home where they robbed her in the driveway.

Alice Makla

“She wasn’t afraid to go after them. They had her purse. She had I guess some money in there,” said Jabara. “She was pretty brave actually. She doesn’t think so but she was.”

Police say Hayhurst told police they took $140 out of Makla’s wallet before throwing her purse out the car window as the 81-year-old chased the robbers down the road by ramming their car. The two suspects are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on February 25.

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