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'Little old lady,' 81, chases robber who pilfered purse

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She's 81 years old and her age didn't get in the way of fighting back a thief.

Violet Mackiewicz had a robber reach into her car Wednesday and grab her purse. Her next instinct was to chase after him. The incident happened outside a post office in Cromwell, Connecticut.

"I'm going to be 82 next month. I said, 'Oh my god, I'm running,'" said Mackiewicz, who was walking to her car in the parking lot.

"I think I look like an easy target. Little old lady. Who knows? He doesn't know me though. What I'm capable of."

Mackiewicz had driven to the post office to pay her bills when a man lunged into her car and said: "Don't talk, lady. Don't do anything ma'am."

She added: "Then he grabbed my pocketbook and he ran."

Mackiewicz says she sat in shock and screamed for a moment but then she took action.

"I ran after him. I didn't know I could run," Mackiewicz added, saying the man was too fast. "I don't know. I thought maybe I could catch the car or something."

But she did manage to get a look at him and his black car before calling Cromwell police. She describes him as clean shaven and in his mid-30s. She says her biggest concern at the time was "my glasses. I said I need my glasses."

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"It does happen occasionally but not a lot," said Lou Tobias of Cromwell police, who say that these types of crimes are more common in shopping plazas; and what Mackiewicz did isn't necessarily a good idea.

"I certainly wouldn't recommend chasing after him. I don't know what she would have done if she had actually caught him."

Mackiewicz says she was still shaken up. But now that she's gotten her license and check book back, "Next week I will have forgotten all about it. Life goes on, right."

Mackiewicz says the robber got away with a couple hundred dollars of cash.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is urged to contact Cromwell police at 860-635-2256.