Two 80+ year old grandmothers were viciously attacked in separate, unrelated incidents as they shopped in St. Paul ahead of Christmas.
Angela Ferguson, 85, was left badly bruised with one eye swollen shut after two men beat her and stole her purse on December 22 outside a Highland Park grocery store in broad daylight.
Not only did she sustain injuries to her head and face but her daughter says she also suffered a stress-induced heart attack, per WCCO. She lost $4,000 she’d withdrawn as gifts for her family and was forced to miss their Christmas gathering as she spent close to a week in the hospital.
1st pic: Arlene Ferguson on her 85th birthday.
2nd pic: Arlene after two men violently robbed outside an Aldi in St. Paul as she loaded groceries in her car.
It happened the day before another strong arm robbery of another grandmother across town.
Details at 10 on @wcco. pic.twitter.com/MA1sHKvNnY
— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff_Wagner4) December 30, 2021
After the attack, one of the suspects was spotted on a Target security camera after Ferguson’s credit card was used to make a purchase there. St. Paul Police have released an image of the suspect and what they believe to be his vehicle.
The suspect has not been apprehended and police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying him. Members of the public an also contribute to a GoFundMe set up for Ferguson by Lindsey Reihe, a bystander who witnessed the attack. “If you are able let’s help bring some light to Arlene this holiday season and help her start 2022 on a positive note,” the GoFundMe implores.
Judy Stuthman, 81, was also trying to get groceries on December 23 to prepare for a Christmas Eve brunch when she was attacked by a purse snatcher on Larpenteur Avenue.
Fortunately the man did not get her purse. Unfortunately, this is because the purse was wrapped around her wrist, so when the would be thief grabbed it and tried to run Stuthman was pulled over, smashing her head on the ground.
St. Paul police are asking for help in identifying this would-be purse-snatcher. He attempted to rip a purse out of the arms of an 81-year-old woman walking into a Walgreens on the 1100 block of Larpenteur Avenue West on Dec. 23. pic.twitter.com/iwNwo4X5oy
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) December 30, 2021
Like Ferguson, Stuthman was hospitalized over Christmas after suffering a concussion and brain bleed, but her daughters were able to visit her. “My daughters are a great stabilizing influence,” she says, per WCCO, adding that she’s hopeful about her ongoing recovery.
St. Paul police say these robberies are part of a new crime spike. “The recent increase seems to be driven by young people taking advantage of the vulnerable,” reports police spokesman Steve Linders. “We’ve seen people walking down the street robbed, older people pushed down and robbed and people getting in and out of vehicles robbed,” he says. Linders even notes that in many cases, the victims are not doing anything especially dangerous to put themselves in harms way, yet brazen attacks continue.
Police ask that if you recognize either of the suspects in these two cases that you call 651-266-5650 to identify them.