SOUTH DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A 78-year-old woman in central Florida suffered a broken ankle and head injuries when thieves snatched her purse and dragged her from the side of their vehicle in a parking lot.
Police in South Daytona Beach say the incident began Tuesday when another woman took the purse from the older woman's shopping cart. The woman whose purse was stolen began running after the thief.
Surveillance video from the Dollar General store shows the elderly woman clinging to the vehicle for a few feet before falling to the pavement. Onlookers came to the woman's aid.
Police say 29-year-old Lacey Joan Robertson and 25-year-old Sarah L. Higbee were arrested and charged with robbery by sudden snatching. They're also charged in a purse snatching earlier that day.
What a sad, sick tale. We hope for the best recovery for the victim in this case.
Question: What recourse does this lady have against these crooks? I can comment only as to her rights had this case occurred here in Arizona.
First, in assisting the prosecution to obtain a conviction, she would be entitled to full disclosure of the criminal proceedings. She would be entitled to stand up and be heard at their sentencing hearing. She would be entitled to restitution for any bills or expenses incurred.
Second, she could make a claim against them and/or sue them civilly in court. As they probably have nothing worth getting, this would probably not be a beneficial move unless there is some applicable insurance somewhere. Is there?
They used their car as a getaway vehicle. Would auto insurance apply? Possibly, but doubtful. Most auto policies will exclude coverage for criminal acts. (Note: Most criminal acts are “intentional”. You typically cannot buy insurance for “intentional acts”.) Depending on the circumstances, as well as the language of the auto policy (assuming there is a policy), it certainly would be expected that an attorney might look into this. Likely, it is a dead end.
The best justice that this victim can likely anticipate is that her assailants will spend a considerable time locked up. True, it does nothing to compensate her for her injuries or troubles, but she, as well as all of us, will rest a little easier knowing that two of the earth’s scumbags are off the streets. At least for some period of time.