If you’re a woman over 50, Walmart may be one of the most dangerous places you can go.
In recent months there have been a spate of attacks targeting older women. Most, but not all, were lone white women attacked in Walmart parking lots by black males.
The motive is robbery and most always involves purse snatching. The victims are apparently singled out as “soft targets”
The most serious attack occurred at a Covington, Ga. Walmart November 17. Reports say 65-year-old Marsha Johnson died after being run over by the same vehicle three or four times. The victim was loading groceries in her trunk when she was attacked.
CBS46.com reports, “Surveillance video showed the man watching Johnson as she put away her grocery cart and went back toward her vehicle. As Johnson tried to get into her vehicle, the suspect walked behind her and tried to grab her purse, the video showed. At first, Johnson doesn’t let go of her purse. The suspect pulls her to the ground, snatches the purse and jumped in his car.”
• More recently a robbery at a Birmingham, Ala. Walmart led to the arrest of Tavalues Johnson, 22. Trussvilletribune.com reports that “Johnson was arrested in connection with a robbery and assault of a 58-year-old woman at the Walmart located at 1600 Montclair Road.”
Johnson was one of two suspects, the report says, who dragged their victim to the ground and pulled her across the pavement causing injuries. Also arrested in the attack was Jarod Dorsey, 22. Both suspects have now been charged, the report concluded, and are in custody.
That attack occurred Nov. 19.
• Earlier in November a 61-year-old woman was dragged on the pavement about 20 feet when a gunman attempted to snatch the retired nurse’s purse. The purse snagged, dislocating the victim’s shoulder. The attackers were identified by gender but not by race. The attack occurred in Galveston, Tex.
• In October a female employee at a Walmart in Ohio was dragged by her hair by a gunman who was robbing the store. Reports say the victim was dragged after giving the attacker money from a cash drawer.
• In October a woman was robbed at gunpoint after withdrawing funds from an ATM at a Walmart in Bryant, Ark. The four suspects were profiled by age and gender. Three are males, one is a female, and all four are black.
• In September a woman was pulled to the pavement in an Oklahoma Walmart parking lot as a robber snatched her wallet. Police requested the public’s assistance identifying the thief, but they offered no description other than noting he was a male. [source]
• Another September attack occurred when a 76-year-old woman was robbed in the parking lot of a Walmart in Toms River, NJ. Police identified two suspects as white males. [source]
• The victims are not always elderly nor white. In August a 29-year-old East Asian woman was robbed at gunpoint by two males as she was getting in her vehicle at a Walmart in Dallas, Texas. The report provided a gender profile of the attackers but not a racial profile.
• Again in August a 90-year-old woman was robbed in the parking lot of a North Fort Myers, Fla. Walmart. Reports profiled the suspect by gender (male), age (about 40), clothing (white t-shirt and plaid shorts), vehicle driven (silver hatchback), and height (about six-feet-tall); but not by race. Security camera images reveal the suspect is white.
• In July a 61-year-old woman was robbed at a Walmart in Alabama. Authorities say the suspect pulled a gun on Shirley Dolman twice. The attacker was profiled by gender but not by race. [source]
• Another attack occurred in July when a woman was robbed at gunpoint as she sat in her car in an Aiken, SC Walmart parking lot. The suspect was profiled by a photograph as a young black male. A cell phone and cash were stolen.
• Again in July a woman was robbed in broad daylight in an Ohio Walmart parking lot. Police found the woman assaulted and robbed. They profiled the suspect by gender and color of his vehicle, but not by race.
• In June a 51-year-old woman was kidnapped from a Tennessee Walmart parking lot and taken to an ATM where she was forced to withdraw cash. The attacker was profiled by gender but not by race.
• Another June attack involved a woman who was followed outside a San Diego, Calif. Walmart into the parking lot by two loud, boisterous women who robbed her. The attackers were identified by gender but not by race.
• In May a woman was robbed at gunpoint by a white male in a Walmart parking lot in Minnesota.
• Also in May a woman in Orange County, Fla. was robbed at knife point as she held her two-year-old outside a Walmart.
• In April a woman was beaten by a mob of men and teens in a Walmart parking lot in Franklin, Wisc. The attack occurred as the 49-year-old victim was loading groceries into her vehicle. The suspects were profiled by age and gender, but not race.
• In March a 70-year-old black woman was robbed of $4,000 after cashing a tax refund check at a Walmart in Denver, Colo. Reports say the woman was hit in the face. Two males were arrested; one appears to be Hispanic and the other appears to be white. [source]
• In March a woman was robbed in a Walmart parking lot in Republic, Mo. Reports say the victim was dragged by a vehicle as her cellphone was stolen. The two attackers were not profiled by gender or by race. [source]
• In March a 67-year-old woman was robbed while shopping at a Pompano Beach Fla. Walmart. Reports say two males who appear to be black snatched the woman’s car keys while she was shopping, then stole her vehicle.
• In January a woman was robbed by a black male in a Clarksville, Tenn. Walmart parking lot. Reports say the suspect entered the victim’s car, grabbed her by the throat, and emptied her purse. He then stole about $200 and a prescription drug. The woman was thrown to the pavement during the ordeal.
• Another attack occurred in January when a woman in a Greensboro, NC Walmart parking lot was accosted by a man profiled by gender and clothing color, but not by skin or hair color. The suspect snatched the woman’s purse before fleeing the scene.
• Again in January an unidentified woman was robbed by two white males who approached her and her 11-year-old daughter as they were sitting in their car at a Florida Walmart. Reports say one of the men forced a knife through the car’s open window.
Women with handguns who attempt to defend themselves and others may encounter challenges from authorities.
• In October a 73-year-old woman was handcuffed by police after she pulled a gun in an effort to stop a robbery at a Walmart in Chesterfield, Virginia.
• A 67-year-old woman was arrested after showing a gun to a black male she believed intended to rob her. Reports say Sherry McLain was loading groceries in her car in a Walmart parking lot when she was approached by a black male demanding a light for a cigarette. When McLain showed the alleged would-be attacker her revolver, he fled.
Police placed McLain in handcuffs and arrested her. The incident occurred in Murfreesboro, Tenn. and was reported Nov. 9.
Not all criminals get away when committing crimes against vulnerable Walmart shoppers.
• Last last month a black male was tackled by a group of shoppers after the suspect allegedly snatched a purse from an 84-year-old woman. Another woman fired a shot over the head of the suspect as he attempted to flee the parking lot. Ultimately, the man was captured by his pursuers and held until police arrived to make an arrest. The crime occurred in Waco, Tex. and was reported Nov. 24.
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