Two women hurt by armed Petersburg purse snatcher

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A Petersburg woman remains in the hospital Wednesday night, after she was attacked and robbed while getting out of her van Tuesday evening.

The victim's husband said that his wife parked the van, opened her door, and then heard footsteps as she exited the van.

He said she saw a gun as the man grabbed for her purse.

She pulled back and the man hit her in the head with the gun, causing her to fall back into the van.

"It's a crime of opportunity," Leonard Curry, who lives nearby and is head of the Neighborhood Watch Association, said. "The bad thing is, is someone struck her."

"Why?  Why not just take the purse," Curry questioned.

Others in the Walnut Hill Neighborhood agreed.

"That's the worst," neighbor Jeff Clark said. "If you want to take somebody's money, that's bad enough, but don't beat somebody up."

Curry quickly alerted neighbors by emails and calls, to let them know about the strong-arm robbery. He advised residents "coming in late, especially the women, let us know and someone will meet you at the door, at least for the next couple of weeks."

About two hours after the first strong-arm robbery, and about one mile away, a similar incident occurred.

It happened in the Ramblewood neighborhood. Police said that the female victim was pushed to the ground as her purse was being stolen.

Petersburg Police believe both robberies are connected and ask if you have any information to call Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212.