Woman Dragged by Car in Anaheim Robbery Attempt

The 67-year-old was dragged over 150 feet as she held on to her purse.

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Police on Thursday sought the public's help to identify two women who grabbed another woman's purse, dragging her with it, as they drove by.

Imelda Niess was approached by a white Nissan in the parking lot of an Anaheim Walmart in the 400 block of North Euclid Street on Feb. 13, according to the Anaheim Police Department. While the 67-year-old was putting her purchases in her car, a passenger reached out from the window of the Nissan and grabbed her purse.

Niess held on, pulled along as the vehicle accelerated.

"It's not about the money. I didn't have any money," she said. "But my payroll check is in there and my code to get into retirement is in there, so I cannot just let it go."

After Niess was dragged about 150 feet, the Nissan released the purse, causing her to fall to the ground. She suffered injuries on her hands, arms, legs and abdomen.

The woman is the primary caregiver for her husband, a cancer patient. She says she hopes what happened to her serves as a warning to other women.

"Let it go, and don't bring a purse," she said. "For an older person like me, just be careful about your surroundings."


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Police said the passenger and driver of the Nissan were in the Walmart with Niess before the robbery, though they did not interact with her. A video with surveillance footage of the two women – one believed to be in her 20s or 30s, the other slightly older – was released on the police department's YouTube account on Thursday.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery was encouraged to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS or to submit a tip anonymously at the OC Crime Stoppers website.

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