WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Police say an 85-year-old woman with cancer was the target of a robbery Monday in West Ashley. The suspect not only took money from the victim, but also delayed her plans for a medical procedure.
The unwelcome visitor showed up on the doorstep of Ida Sue Collins' Wappoo Road home Monday afternoon.
"It was an experience that you won't forget no time soon," Collins said just hours after the incident.
Collins had just returned home from the bank where she cashed some checks she received last Friday for her 85th birthday.
"I got out of my car and I was standing here like this and he said 'Give me your pocketbook,' " Collins recalled.
The elderly woman with cancer and arthritis realized the man wanted her purse, but wouldn't give in.
"And I said no and I just grab my hands around and we fought back and forth and I hollered for James," she said.
Collins' husband James heard his wife crying for help inside the house. By the time he got to her the suspect had taken what he wanted and disappeared.
The suspect pulled so hard on the purse that he ended up breaking the strap in two and taking off with the rest of it up the street where it was later found.
A neighbor recovered the purse. Even though Collins has cuts on her hands from the struggle, she is grateful the suspect only took her money.
"I wasn't thinking about my life," she said. "I was thinking about my pocketbook and what worried me was having to replace all that stuff. I was determined it wouldn't happen, but he ended up with it. He had to fight for it."
Collins planned to use the money from her checks for cataract surgery. Now the couple, which has weathered so much in their 61 years of marriage will have to dig into their savings.
"I hope it never happens again, but it learned me a lesson to make sure and watch every move you make," Collins said.
The suspect was wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans at the time of the robbery. No weapons were involved. Collins says they haven't had any other issues in their neighborhood.
If you have any information about this case call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.