Sandra Gomes thought it would be just a routine trip to the convenience store up the street from her home in Taunton, Massachusetts. But this time, she felt something wasn't right.
"I said to somebody, 'they're making me nervous,'" said Gomes. "They were gone when I walked out, I looked both ways to make sure they weren't out there."
Gomes, 76, says two men had been watching her when she was inside the B & E convenience store. But she let it go and started to walk home.
A few moments later, she was hit from behind and thrown on the ground.
"At first, I thought it was one of the kids giving me a hug because that's what they do, come up behind me," says Gomes. "But when I fell to the ground and saw him standing there, he grabbed the wallet and cigarettes and my tickets."
She got back up, even throwing an iced coffee at the men, and despite her emphysema, she started to chase them up the block.
"And I turned around and I said 'stop it,' I said, 'give me my money,'" said Gomes. "That was the end of that."
The latest news from around the state
Taunton Police tell necn Hector Melendez has been arrested and warrants are out for a suspected accomplice identified as Jose Figueroa.
Sandra's wallet, with almost $500 in cash inside, had been stolen. She needed the money to pay her bills this month.
"I can't replace that," says Gomes.