Two elderly women fall victim to robbery after church in Wichita Falls

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls Police Officers are asking for help finding the people responsible for robbing one elderly woman and attempting to rob another at gunpoint just weeks apart.

Police said one case happened when the woman was returning home from church.

That victim was approached by two suspects when she was getting out of her car. The victim yelled and the suspects ran away.

The other happened in the Anderson Chapel AME Church parking lot on the east side of Wichita Falls.

During that aggravated robbery the woman was shoved to the ground. She was not seriously injured, but her wallet was stolen.

Evelyn Vinson, who attends Anderson Chapel AME Church, said this has never happened there before.

Vinson said she does not understand why someone would do such a thing, especially at a place where people go to feel protected.

"You know, you feel safe to walk out the church, to come in the church at night. No longer do they [church members] feel safe to do that," said Vinson. "Not even I."

Vinson said it is still hard to believe that an elderly woman was robbed at gunpoint January 8th, in broad daylight in her church's parking lot.

"Lord give me the words," she said. "At the same time, you think how could a person do something like this on God's holy ground? At his church? And have no fear you know, to rob God's child."

She said it is sad to know churchgoers must have their guards up leaving the house of God now.

"It brings everybody great fear, especially for our older members that come in here at night alone," said Vinson.

But they are not alone in this. Church members say they have each other, God and WFPD on their side.

"Ever since that incident happened we thank God for the police department," said Vinson. "They have been riding by faithfully checking on the church, patrolling it and making sure that we are safe."

She said when they hear someone pull up they go out to meet them, to make sure they get in safely.

"We go out of course, in groups of twos and not just out just individually," said Vinson.

Something Wichita Falls Police Sergeant Harold McClure recommends.

Sgt. McClure also said be mindful of your surroundings, and in situations like these, do not put up a fight.

"Especially in this case where you have an elderly female that's by herself and confronted with an armed subject," said Sgt. McClure. "Just give them what they want, and just try to get out of there as safely as you can. The more resistance you put up, the chances of suffering an injury increases."

He said crimes like these hit home, because what if that was your grandmother.

"It does strike a chord with each and every one of us," said Sgt. McClure.

Sgt. McClure encourages those who live on the east side to communicate with their neighbors, look out for one another and report any suspicious activity.

He said even the smallest tip could be the piece of the puzzle officers need to track down the suspects.

Police said they do have some descriptions of those responsible and some leads detectives are following up on.

However, they are still asking for help.  So, if you have any information on these crimes to call Crime Stoppers at 940-322-9888.

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