Police investigate fender bender turned robbery in downtown Roanoke

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Roanoke City Police are investigating after a woman’s purse was taken during a fender bender at the corner of Elm Avenue SE and Williamson Road SE.

Shortly after 5:30 a.m. officers spoke with the victim who said a man driving a mini-van followed her from the Carilion Riverwalk parking garage to that location.

The victim told police when she stopped at a traffic light at the intersection, the man bumped the back of her vehicle. When she got out of her vehicle to check the damage police say the man grabbed the victim’s purse and after a brief struggle, he drove off with it.

“It was a surprise to me because I’ve never been this close to something that happens like this,” said Terra Cunningham.

Cunningham and Barbara Riles work downtown and drive through the Elm Avenue and Williamson Road intersection almost every day.

“It’s a pity that people will hit somebody and then take off with their belongings. That’s sad. But the way I was raised you reap what you sow,” Riles said.

The investigation into this situation is ongoing.

“You really don’t hear about that a lot around here. You do hear about panhandlers and stuff like that on the side of the roads asking or money. But as far as it going from a fender bender, on purpose, just to get some money from somebody, that’s not okay,” said Stephanie Nelson who drives through the intersection on her way to work.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540) 344-8500.

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