At least three older women have been robbed in their own driveways in broad daylight on the east side recently. San Antonio police are trying to determine if the three attacks are related.
The description of the suspect in all three cases is similar: a black man who appears to be between 25 and 30 years old. His victims said that he stands about six feet tall and weighs about 180 pounds.
In all three cases, the man was last seen running away and jumping into a four-door silver sedan.
The first attack was reported on May 19 at Edna Avenue. A 93-year old woman told police that she pulled into her driveway after a shopping trip.
She said that she was distracted while unloading her bags, a man ripped a gold herringbone necklace from her neck, threw her to the ground, and then punched her in the shoulder.
The woman said that, at first, she thought the man was trying to choke her. She said she screamed for help when the man tried to hit her a second time.
A witness who was inside the home heard the victim screaming and came to the woman’s aid. The report indicates that is when the suspect took off, jumped in the silver car, and sped away.
A second attack happened just one week later and one mile away on Dorie Street.
In this case, the 68-year-old victim told police that she lost $1,900. The woman said that a contractor working on a home improvement job wanted to be paid in cash, so she went to a nearby bank branch on South WW White Road and withdrew the large sum of money.
Margo Smith said that she believes someone was watching her at the bank and followed her home.
"As I was starting to open the door, the guy threw the door open, hit me in the arm, jumped over me, went straight for my purse, and got out," Smith said.
Smith took pictures of her injuries where the man left deep bruises when he grabbed her by the arm.
“I got banged up pretty bad. There was a big bruise here and it was swollen,” said Smith, who added that when the man took her purse, it was a significant loss. “A lot of women are like me. I had my life in that purse. He got my life, he’s got everything.”
Smith said that she spent more than 10 hours the day of the attack cancelling credit and debit cards and trying to recover personal information and her driver’s license. She said that her car insurance has been canceled twice in the ensuing confusion.
Smith recalled that she was shocked because the attack happened in broad daylight, around 3:30 p.m., in her front yard, with construction workers witnessing the whole ordeal.
She said it all happened so quickly, they had little time to react, and the man was able to escape.
“I jumped out and I tried to chase him down, and I'm hollering, 'Robber! Robber!'” said Smith, who noted that she's hyper-vigilant now and she wants other women to be careful as well. “It scares me. I don't go anywhere now without my son.”
The third attack that may be linked happened on June 6, just a short distance from the bank branch Smith visited just before her attack.
The 65-year old woman who lives on Sea Breeze Drive said she, too, was just returning from a trip to the store and juggling shopping bags.
The woman said that she thought the man was just walking down the street, but she suddenly found him upon her, taking her purse from her shoulder.
The victim told police that she believes the man may have friends or associates on her street because she recognized him as someone she had seen before.
Once again, the victim told police that the man escaped in a small silver car.
Investigators say that they thought they had a partial license plate from one of the attacks, but they have been unable to trace the car.
Police urge anyone who might have helpful information about these attacks to call the SAPD Robbery Division at 210-207-0300.