Shannon Taylor was finishing up a shopping trip at Comox Centre Mall on Tuesday when she was punched in the face and had her purse stolen.
Taylor said she was walking back to her car and was reaching into her purse – which was sitting in the shopping cart – for her keys, when a woman came up to her and said hi. Taylor said hi back and recognized her as a woman who had smiled at her in the mall earlier.
Taylor said the woman then grabbed her purse from the cart, but Taylor reacted quickly and held on to the strap.
“She turned around and just nailed me right in the face,” said Taylor. “I didn’t let go and that’s when she reefed on it and both me and the cart kind of went sideways. She reefed even harder and that’s when I was left holding the strap to my purse.”
The woman turned and ran away as soon as she had the purse, according to Taylor. She added that her whole life is in her purse, including her phone, identification, money, and photos of her late husband.
“I just started screaming at her. I’m like, ‘My dead husband’s pictures are in there, please, please.’”
Taylor had injured her knee as she was pushed sideways, but she made it into the mall to get someone to call the police.
She said the RCMP later apprehended the woman, and her purse and its contents were returned.
When reached on Wednesday, Taylor said she was having trouble walking because of her injured knee, and she had a puffy lip and some loose teeth from being punched in the face. She also said she was having trouble sleeping Tuesday night.
“That’s a sleepy little mall that all the seniors shop at,” said Taylor. “My mom is 71, if she had done that to my mom, she would have seriously hurt her. I think that was what was bothering me all night – it could have been somebody’s grandma.”
RCMP has confirmed that a woman was arrested and is still in custody. The Record has reached out to the Comox Valley RCMP for additional comment.