A man accused of robbing a 73-year-old woman in the parking lot of a Springfield Kroger made his first appearance in court in Clark County on the case.
Brandon Russell, 35, is charged with robbery in Clark County Municipal Court. He pleaded not guilty and his bond was set at $15,000.
Authorities were called to Kroger on Bechtle Avenue Nov. 20 at around 4 p.m. There, they met the woman who said she was approached by a man begging for $2. The woman said she believes the same man then assaulted her and stole her gray 2012 Toyota Camry.
“After refusing to give the male any money (the woman) advised she turned her back to the male and attempted to get into her running vehicle with no luck,” the report says. “(She) stated she was then struck in the back of the head/back by an unknown object or the male’s fist stunning her. (The woman) stated the male then pulled her back and then onto the ground violently by her coat/clothing she was wearing.”
The man then entered the vehicle and drove off, the report says. Officers searched the area but were unable to find the car, the report says.
Officers were able to speak with witnesses at the scene who said they saw the suspect enter the vehicle and flee.
“(The woman) was visibly shaken up and complained of lower back/neck pain from being struck by the suspect,” the report says witnesses told police.
Along with the car, the suspect stole hundreds of dollars worth of valuables from the woman, the report says. Those items include a purse, six to seven credit or debit cards, about $200, a checkbook, her iPhone and her groceries.
Authorities were contacted later the same day and alerted that one of the Visa cards had been used to make a purchase of about $200 at Rite Aid on South Limestone Street.
Springfield police recovered the vehicle a couple days later, but the family of the 73-year-old said the car was “trashed.”