Robbery Victim Speaks Exclusively To KLTV 7 About Her Purse Snatching Experience - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Robbery Victim Speaks Exclusively To KLTV 7 About Her Purse Snatching Experience

The victim, who didn't want to be identified said she was on her way to church when the unexpected happened after making a typical trip to a typical gas station.

"I was approaching the car and I reached down to hit my key to unlock the door.  The next thing I knew, I was on the ground."  

Surveillance video from the Fina Station on Loop 323 in Tyler shows the suspect drive up in a stolen Dodge Intrepid.  He lingers around the gas pump, but never gets out.

"He pulled around the pumps and came back, and that's when he got off of camera," said Shelley Coble, an assistant manager at the station.  She said the victim was parked behind the camera, so the actual robbery was not caught on tape.  But it was an experience the victim captured clearly in her mind. 

"He just came by and yanked [the purse] off and sped off.  He drove close enough to me that he snatched that purse from the car," she said.  She was spun to the ground, left with bruises to her elbow and hip.  "I feel very lucky that I wasn't hurt anymore than I was."

The suspect, Juan Ballesteros, 36, is now behind bars charged with aggravated robbery.  But police said it's possible the robbery wasn't a first-time offense.  "We're hopefully going to tie that in with other crimes that have occurred between here and Houston," said Officer Don Martin, public information officer with the Tyler Police Department.  "We're probably looking at either theft of purses, or credit card abuse."

It was an experience the victim said she's grateful she walked away from, and can talk about.  She said a good Samaritan helped her after the incident and also gave police the information they needed to eventually catch the alleged robber. 

Layron Livingston, Reporting


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