Elderly victim still recovering from violent purse snatching

Elderly victim still recovering from violent purse snatching

UPDATE: 18-year old Katie Kinney and 20-year old Trystan Clark are each being held on a $250,000 bond.

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After a violent theft, a broken pelvis, and a smashed rib, Kathy Kohlieber no longer feels safe in Spokane.

“First of all, I’m never going anywhere without my purse again,” Kohlieber said.

The 75-year-old was walking to her car outside the Spokane Valley Walmart on Saturday when a vehicle pulled up beside her. A man grabbed her purse, but Kohlieber’s arm was caught in the strap.

“They drug me until they go the purse, then they drove off.”

Kohlieber was dragged 20 feet before she hit the pavement. She screamed for help.

“I was all shook up. My blood pressure was over 200,” Kohlieber said.

Two men ran over to save her.

“the guy helped me up and I couldn’t – I hurt so bad,” Kohlieber said. “I couldn’t walk because I got a broken pelvis.”

While in the hospital, her attackers seemed to have a change of heart. They used her stolen phone to text her friend.

“Her purse is on the corner of Fairview and Ralph,” it read. “I’m sorry.”

Before her friend could even get there, Mark Hansen and his girlfriend found the abandoned purse.

“We drove around the corner and there was a purse in the snow bank,” Hansen said. “So we backed up and I said we should probably take it.”

Hansen and his girlfriend got in touch with a Spokane Valley detective.

“He comes in the door and he’s carrying my purse, and I said I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it. My phone – everything was in there,” Kohlieber said.

She was not the only victim that day. Police say shoppers at three other stores across town were also targeted.

“I just don’t want old people to get hurt like this,” Kohlieber said. “I just don’t like how we can’t feel safer, you know? It makes me sad.”

Police arrested 18-year old Katie Kinney and 20-year old Trystan Clark on Sunday morning. Both were charged with four counts of robbery, (two counts of first degree robbery in the first degree and two counts of second degree robbery). Additional charges may be added.

Kohlieber said she’s thankful for the staff at Valley Hospital, and for Spokane Valley deputies – especially deputy Sam Turner, who spend several hours with her at the hospital canceling all her credit cards. Turner also returned a second time with the one thing Kohlieber went shopping for in the first place.

“He came back to the hospital with a bag of caramel corn for me,” Kohlieber said. “Isn’t that cute? Only smile I had all day.”