Woman gets 18 stitches after violent purse snatching in Kmart parking lot

Police said two men stole a woman's purse in the parking lot of the Patrick Street Kmart. (Surveillance Video Image Courtesy of Charleston Police Department)

A woman is recovering after being violently attacked during a purse snatching in the Patrick Street Kmart parking lot in Charleston.

Police are now hoping it will serve as a reminder to other women who also could fall victim.

It happened about 3 p.m. Sunday as the woman, 54, was walking with another woman to their car. She had to get 18 stitches in the arm after being knocked to the ground. Police are still working to identify the two suspects, only described as a black man and a white man, both wearing dark clothing.

Patricia Arthur and her daughter Rebecca Carte, said they are always keeping a close eye on their surroundings while out shopping.

"We always look around and make sure there's nobody that looks suspecting," Carte said.

Arthur said it makes you "more afraid of doing things, really."

In surveillance video of the attack, you can see the two men come in from behind on both sides before grabbing the woman's purse and taking off toward the railroad tracks.

"During the robbery itself, she fell and sliced her forearm. We contacted medics, and she was transported to (Charleston Area Medical Center) General (Hospital) where she received 18 stitches," Lt. Tony Hazelett of the Charleston Police Department said.

Police said if this happens to you, you shouldn't fight back or try to chase them.

"A purse is really not as important as your life," Hazelett said.

There are ways to not be appealing to a purse snatcher. You should walk in busy, well-lit areas and only carry what is necessary, perhaps in a wallet or clutch.

Police said to always hold your purse really tight and close to your body and, if possible, wear a jacket to cover it.

"If you feel uneasy about walking to your car, go back in the department store and ask an employee or security guard to walk you to your car," Hazelett said.

Another helpful tip is to not wear a purse that goes diagonally across your body because it poses a more serious risk for injury if someone tried to snatch it.

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