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Old December 21, 2005, 01:07 PM   #1
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(AK) Robbers mess with wrong Grandma
Robbers mess with the wrong grandma
INITIATIVE: Seward woman tracks thieves who boldly snatched her purse.
Anchorage Daily News
Published: December 21, 2005
Last Modified: December 21, 2005 at 04:14 AM

A 55-year-old grandmother from Seward who had her purse snatched in the parking lot of the Dimond Boulevard Costco on Monday afternoon has taken it upon herself to "catch the twirps," she said.

Rosie Szymanski, who came to Anchorage to celebrate Christmas with her 10-year-old grandson and other family members, said Tuesday that she has tracked the thieves to several places where they used her credit cards before she was able to cancel them. And she has obtained a videotape of what she believes are the young men using one of her cards at a McDonald's.

Anchorage police are cautioning her to use care in her investigation.

Szymanski said she was unloading Christmas presents into her Chevy Astro van when a young man shoved her and pinched her kidney-bean-shaped handbag from the shopping cart, she said.

"They are lucky I didn't have my .45 automatic. I would have blasted them," said Szymanski.

Now, Szymanski is piping mad and "in hot pursuit," she said. She has extended her trip and turned it into a hunt for the thieves, work that she says the police aren't doing fast enough.

After she was robbed, Szymanski ran after the thief until she saw him jump into a maroon Jeep that had been waiting with the engine revving. The vehicle sped off, she said.

"Maybe I'm a little older, a little fluffier, and he thought I wasn't going to chase him," she said. "But I did."

The thieves got away with Szymanski's wallet, several hundred dollars in cash, and a lucky coin she had from her grandmother that she always carries with her, she said.

On Tuesday, Syzmanski spent the day driving around Anchorage to the sites where her credit cards had been used, scribbling notes on a mini yellow legal pad, and taking down phone numbers.

"I've been around the block a few times," she said. "These boys need to know there are consequences."

She hit all the spots the thieves had hit: gas stations, McDonald's and a liquor store.

From the McDonald's on Huffman Road, where she found the thieves had spent $30.40, Szymanski found a surveillance tape of the inside and outside of the restaurant that showed what she believes are her perpetrators. "I'm positive it's them," she said.

Both men are described as white and in their early 20s, police said.

Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said she applauded Szymanski but cautioned her to be careful and not confront the thieves. "If you're not hindering your case and you can do any kind of follow-up to assist the detectives, then more power to you," she said.

"There's a lot of victims out there, we try to prioritize and get to them as quickly as we can," Shell said.

Shell said Anchorage police get more than 300 calls a day that require patrol officers to respond and write reports when only 20 to 25 patrol officers are on duty at any one time.

Szymanski said Tuesday night she's unsure exactly how far she'll go with her investigation. But she wants the young men brought to justice.

"I want to smack those boys back," Szymanski said. "I don't want to see this happen to anyone else."

i bet next time this Grandma comes to Anchorage she will be carrying! although, a purse snatch probably wouldnt justify her desire to 'blast them'.
"Every man alone is sincere; at the entrance of a second person hypocrisy begins." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old December 21, 2005, 01:22 PM   #2
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sounds like my grandpa......

which is scary. If anything she's gonna get herself killed or kill an innocent person with her .45. I agree with being armed for self defense, but going on a vigilante hunt makes all us gun owners/ccw'ers look like gun-toting militia nut bags.

Hope the police find those guys before she does.

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Old December 21, 2005, 03:16 PM   #3
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Well Grandma, now you know not to go to Los Anchorage unarmed.
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Old December 21, 2005, 04:55 PM   #4
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That coin must not have been that LUCKY. But then again they could have taken everything she had.
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Old December 21, 2005, 10:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by OneInTheChamber
which is scary. If anything she's gonna get herself killed or kill an innocent person with her .45. I agree with being armed for self defense, but going on a vigilante hunt makes all us gun owners/ccw'ers look like gun-toting militia nut bags.
+1. The whole thing sounds pretty idiotic to me. Cut your losses and have the gun ON you next time, don't go seeking some kind of retribution to prove that people "can't" do that to you. They got the drop on her, she should take a lesson from it and be prepared if there's ever a next time.

Besides she chased them down the street without a weapon on her. That's just ridiculous.
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Old December 21, 2005, 11:02 PM   #6
Join Date: December 21, 2005
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I'm pretty sure she didn't have a gun because she was traveling (undoubtedly by air) out of state to visit and therefore I'm betting still doesn't have one. She is just upset about the naseautingly slow police work. I give her a thumbs up.
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