At 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Fredericksburg police received a call that the mother of a UMW senior was robbed while entering Giant, the grocery store in Eagle Village, police officials said. No weapon was involved in this crime.
According to Natatia Bledsoe, public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department, the suspect walked in the grocery store directly behind the woman and tackled her near the customer service desk. The suspect stole her purse before running out of the store.
“What is, of course, very unique in this case is that [the victim] was not in any way making herself a vulnerable target,” Bledsoe said.
Bledsoe said that as a result of being grabbed by the suspect, the victim fell to the ground. However, the victim got up and followed him out of the store.
“She went after him and inside the glass-enclosed area she made contact with him again,” Bledsoe said. “They both went down to the ground. He immediately got up with the purse and kept running.”
Bledsoe said that a Giant employee witnessed the attack and ran after the suspect, jumping over the victim in the glass-enclosed area of the Giant exit and out to the parking lot.
The employee was able to give police the description of the suspect’s vehicle, a gold Cadillac sedan with Maryland license plate number 6EVJ45. The owner of the vehicle, a female in Oxon Hill, Md., has no known ties to Fredericksburg, according to Bledsoe.
Witnesses said the suspect was last seen driving northbound on U.S. Route 1, according to the campus crime alert sent out to students.
The suspect fled the scene still in possession of the victim’s purse, which included cash, credit cards and a digital camera, according to Bledsoe.
Bledsoe said that the suspect has a short haircut and no facial hair. He was wearing a black tank top, khaki shorts, a baseball cap and white sneakers.
The victim, who is from Chesapeake, Va., was visiting for Family Weekend, according to Bledsoe. The victim’s daughter and husband were in the parking lot closer to the Eagle Landing apartment building and were unaware of the attack.
The alert said the Fredericksburg Police Department issued a “be on the lookout” alert and local law enforcement is searching for the suspect.
“We are attempting to identify the suspect,” Bledsoe said. “It is a very active investigation.”
Photo: The glass-enclosed entrance/exit to Giant. Anne Elder/Bullet