Woman, 64, offers burly thief a fierce fight for her purse
Toker, 64, a native of Argentinian who became a U.S. citizen in 1998, said she didn't think of the possible danger to herself when she tussled with the robber over her purse. Afterwards, her two adult daughters, she said, weren't happy about what she did, telling her that the man could have had a knife or a gun, and no purse was worth her life.
The robbery happened about 10:40 am. Thursday. Toker, who is separated from her husband and whose only income is her monthly $475 Social Security check, was walking to the Currier Institute of Art, her woven brown bag accented with a large bow in a dark brown and white giraffe pattern tucked under one arm. In her other hand, she carried a paper tote containing all her personal and financial papers.
The robber took off running with her purse and Toker ran right after him. She caught up to him in a nearby alley where he had stopped and was rummaging through her purse. He had her purple wallet, one she bought for herself on her birthday 10 years ago, and was tearing through it.
He shoved her to the ground, but Toker still kept trying to get her property back. The purse, she said, contained her life: the cell phone with all the numbers of her children and friends; a wallet with her daughters' photographs; the $2 lucky bill she had carried for years; and very little money because, she explained, she really doesn't have any.
Toker recovered her pocketbook, which also contained her eyeglasses, and her cell phone, which was undamaged in the incident. The wallet is torn, but still useable, although she would like to get a new one.
He had short dark hair, was clean-shaven and wore a red T-shirt, black shorts and light-colored tennis shoes.