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ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Police said a man attacked an 84-year-old woman in her garage last week and stole her purse.
Police were called to the 1300 block of Northwest Vallejo Drive the afternoon of Jan. 26 for a reported robbery. They said Derrick Meeks, 31, followed the woman home from Sherm's Thunderbird in Roseburg in his 1997 green Ford Explorer.
Police said he watched the woman check her mail and when she walked back to her garage, he hit her from behind and knocked her down.
Officials said he stole the woman's purse and ran off. Witnesses reported they saw the suspect run in and out of the garage and he was carrying an item on the way out.
The woman suffered serious injuries during the assault. Neighbors said those injuries included a broken hip, which she then needed to undergo surgery for.
Police say they were able to gather video evidence that linked Meeks to a 1997 green Ford Explorer. They were able to locate the car and arrest him that same day.
Meeks was arrested and faces charges of robbery and assault.
Roseburg Police said this isn't necessarily a common crime, but there are ways to avoid becoming a victim of something similar.
”If would-be victims are looking around and sort of making eye contact with folks in the vicinity, that could be helpful and that could be a sign for criminals to believe that maybe you’re not such a good victim," said Sgt. Dennis Chrisenbery with the Roseburg Police Department.