The Kohl's parking lot in South Lubbock was busy Sunday afternoon. Melissa Key was loading up her car after a shopping trip when she turned around and saw a woman running towards her.
"When the car stopped, I guess I thought she was going to get out and ask me something, but then she raced toward me and grabbed my purse," Key said.
Key says the second the woman grabbed her bag, she didn't think twice. She just started kicking.
"I started kicking her and kicking her and screaming and screaming," Key said.
They played tug-of-war over Key's purse for almost three minutes and the thief never said a word.
"I was kicking her that whole time. I was like, you are not getting my purse tonight, girl," Key said.
Finally, the woman gave up and got back into a black sedan. A male driver drove her away, leaving Key there in shock.
"You think it can never happen to you, but it can happen to you. That's why I sat here for an hour and waited for the police," Key said.
Witnesses told Key they saw the black car driving around the Kohl's parking lot all afternoon.
"They watched her get out of the car a couple times, but I guess she thought I was going to be her victim, but not today," Key said.
Key realizes her fight could have turned deadly.
"I don't know what I would have done if she pulled a gun, but she didn't and I was not going to let her get my purse," Key said.
So what should you do in a situation like this? Here are a few things to remember before you hit the shops:
- Learn to carry only what you actually need.
- Carry only small amounts of cash and only take the credit cards you are planning to use.
- Carry your bags in front of you and keep them close to your body and closed.
- Sometimes, wearing a purse strap under your coat will stop the thief from grabbing your bag.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times and know who is nearby.
- Resist the urge to play tug-of-war with the thief. If you hang on to your bag, chances are you'll be knocked down and the thief will get away.
Lubbock police are currently investigating this incident. Key described the thief as a tall, thin, white female with reddish brown hair.
If you have any information, you can contact Crime Line at 741-1000.
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