HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – Two seniors are recovering tonight from violent purse snatchings over the past four days.

While the crimes happened in two different Broward cities, the victims and investigators say there are lessons to be learned from each.

One crime occurred Friday afternoon in Hollywood; the other on Sunday evening in Margate.

The victim in Hollywood — Jackie Arnold — told CBS 4 News that she pulled into the parking lot of the Hollywood Animal Hospital to take a picture for the Hollywood Historical Society.

Surveillance video showed a car driving past Arnold on busy Hollywood Boulevard, reversing and backing up. The car pulled into the lot and parked next to her.

Investigators say that’s when the thieves reached into her car and grabbed her purse.

“I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, he stole my purse,” Arnold told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.  “I’m waving my arms saying, ‘Stop. Stop, don’t steal my purse.'”

The video shows what happened next. Arnold says the car kept going, knocking her to the ground. She fell face first and fractured her nose, chipped a tooth and got bloodied.

“Never did it cross my mind that he would run me over,” she said. “That’s inhuman.”

Arnold says the thieves haven’t been caught and before she could cancel her credit and debit cards the thieves used one of her cards to buy $62 worth of gas in Miami.

Arnold says she lost a lot of personal information that was in her purse. She wants to remind people to always be aware of your surroundings and lock your car doors and windows no matter where you are. She also recommends making sure you leave certain personal information at home.

In the Margate case from Sunday evening, police say a pair of thieves followed an 82-year-old woman while she walked down NW 76 Avenue. Police say the men pushed the woman down and stole her purse.

A father and son heard the woman’s screams and police say they helped track down the thieves. Police say Richard Goldings and Samuel Elster are accused of robbing the elderly woman leaving her with a fractured elbow,concussion and other injuries.

“If you can go about 6 feet under your feet, that’s probably where they need to be,” said Stephen Willis Weber, who police say helped track the thieves to a nearby apartment.

Police say they recovered the victims’ $87 underneath Goldings’ mattress. The victims’ purse was recovered in some bushes near a pool.

In court Monday, Richard Goldings seemed confident he could beat the rap.

GOLDINGS: “I’ll be staying in jail until I beat this case down to a misdemeanor.”
JUDGE JOHN HURLEY: “Oh. Till you beat it down to a misdemeanor?”
GOLDINGS: “That’s right.”
HURLEY: “Ah, ok. Which misdemeanor are you going to beat it down to?”
GOLDINGS: “To a simple misdemeanor.”
HURLEY: “Ok, right. Thank you.”

Jail records show Goldings and Elster are both being held on $50,000 bond. Each man is charged with aggravated battery on a person 65 years of age or older and robbery by sudden snatching.


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