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86-Year-Old Woman Wants to Buy Gun to Shoot Thief Who Robbed Her

By Trevor Kapp | September 12, 2016 1:07pm
 Bernice Starnes, 86, said she wants to shoot the thief who robbed her on Sunday.
Bernice Starnes, 86, said she wants to shoot the thief who robbed her on Sunday.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

THE BRONX — A grandmother who had her purse snatched from her lap while she was sitting inside a wheelchair in West Farms Sunday said she wants to arm herself to shoot the thief who robbed her.

“I want to get a gun so I can shoot her damn brains out,” Bernice Starnes, 86, said outside her house on Marmion Avenue.

Starnes said she was outside her apartment building, near East 179th Street, when a heavy-set woman approached her about 9 a.m.

“She said, ‘Good morning,’" Starnes recalled. “The next thing she did, she grabbed my purse and she said, ‘Now it is a good morning.’”

The woman then fled down Marmion Avenue. Police said she's about 5-foot-6, 240 pounds and was wearing an orange shirt.

“I was calling her every name but a child of God,” said Starnes, who was in the wheelchair because she has a broken hip. “I used to run track. If I wasn’t in this wheelchair, I would’ve caught her a-- and put my foot up her.”

Starnes said more than $100 was taken and that she was planning to use the money for a cruise.

Police from the 48th Precinct stopped by Starnes’ apartment Monday morning to give her $130 that they collected from officers within the command.

“On behalf of the 48th Precinct command, the lieutenant, the sergeants and the NCO (Neighborhood Coordination Officers) program and officers from the 48th Precinct, we want to give you this money, give this back for the robbery that occurred here,” Officer Timothy Arthur said.

“Rest assured, we’re gonna catch her.”

Starnes choked back tears when Arthur presented her the cash.

“They’re New York’s best,” she said. “They are the best.”

She said there was no justification for robbing an old lady.

“If you need money, go get a job. I’ve been working since I was 15,” she said. “She can run, but she can’t hide."