SLIDELL, La Slidell Police arrested a woman hours after they said she violently and forcefully robbed an 80-year-old woman in a Wal-Mart parking lot, where security cameras captured images of the getaway vehicle.
Karyn Reynolds, 30, was charged with second degree robbery and could face up between three and 40 years. She could face 'enhanced charges' because her victim was elderly.
'I'm lucky we were able to make a quick arrest,' Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said.
Bernice Delery suffered broken bones in her wrist, which required surgery, and lacerations to her body and head.
Delery, who is from New Orleans but has lived in Los Angeles since 1956, was in New Orleans with her family to celebrate her 80th birthday and, in spite of the robbery, her daughter said the robbery didn't sour their opinion of New Orleans.
Smith, witnesses said a black Ford Explorer stopped near the woman. Reynolds got out of the SUV and ripped away the woman's purse, Smith said. The woman suffered her injuries when she subsequently fell to the ground.
Reynolds jumped back into the Explorer and sped away, leaving her victim on the ground.
Slidell Police Officers used Wal-Mart's surveillance video to find out what happened and, having a clear picture of Reynolds and the Explorer, searched the city for her.
Several hours later, Smith said, a detective saw the SUV parked in the Olde Town area. Reynolds again got into the SUV and drove off.
A traffic stop slowed Reynolds down and detectives concluded she was the assailant after her clothing matched that of the suspect in the video.
'The suspect admitted she has a drug problem and drugs were the motive for this crime,' Smith said.
The Police Chief said Slidell has seen an increase in crimes against the elderly.
'Damn shame somebody would take advantage of an elderly female like this,' Smith said.