CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's a crime to steal. But it's criminal when someone robs a woman with a disability.
At a convenience store on Charlotte's north side off of Craighead Avenue, a woman walked in to buy a pack of cigarettes. As she paid for her smokes, surveillance video showed her struggling to count her cash.
While thumbing through her purse, a line formed behind her. One man was in a hurry.
"He waits and waits and he gets impatient and just puts his purchase up on the counter over the lady and pays for his item," Charlotte Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) officer Tori Roddey said.
But before he left, he turned to get a receipt, and noticed the woman still counting her change.
"The lady has her purse open," Officer Roddey said. "She has her money out so he could see she had some money on her, and he proceeds and leaves the store."
Outside the store, he got in the passenger side of a gold colored SUV, and the vehicle turned left down Craighead. Also on surveillance is the woman, who turned the same direction. But before she got home, she met up with a man who she says is the same impatient man she saw in the store.
"A guy approaches her and says 'hey ma'am, can you tell me where West Sugar Creek is?' and she points in the direction it is," Roddey said. "And then the guy snatches her purse and takes off running toward the apartment complex."
As an impaired vision person, how can she be so sure it was the same man?
Officer Roddey explains, "Legal blindness is based on the best level of vision you can see, so you don't have to be Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder to be legally blind."
The man was wearing dark clothing with a gold emblem on the shirt and red tabs at the shoulders.
"Anybody that messes with someone disabled, you know we want to get him off the streets."
Officer Roddey says the man had dark skin with a low haircut all the way around, but not a fade.
Can you help get this legally blind woman's purse back? Call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 and you'll be helping yourself to a reward.