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Grandma hangs onto windshield as purse thief attempts to drive away

  • Tammy Elliot, 53, of Northeast Portland chased down a purse-snatcher and climbed on to the hood of his car in an attempt to retrieve her property on Friday, Jan. 23. 2015. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Stuart Tomlinson)

PORTLAND, Ore. » A Portland thief trying to make a getaway Friday had a hard time seeing his way clear, given that 53-year-old grandmother Tammy Elliott was on the hood of his car, hanging on to the windshield wipers and screaming at him to give back her purse.

He did — but not before he tried to throw her off the car by turning on the wipers, revving the engine and putting the car through herky-jerky maneuvers.

She held on, determined not to lose photos of her grandchildren.

"I just wanted my pictures — there wasn’t any money in the purse," Elliott told The Oregonian.

Elliott said she’d stopped by a Fred Meyer store on Friday morning for a few items when the man grabbed her purse and began walking out of the store.

She said she followed at a walk as fast as her recent hip-replacement surgery would allow.

He began to run and jumped into a car.

Elliott jumped on the hood and hung on for dear life. "I was yelling at him to give me back my purse," she said.

Eventually, he chucked the purse into the parking lot, keeping its wallet. She clambered off, and he drove away.

Police put out a description of a thin man in his 30s with short brown hair, about 5 feet 9, wearing dark clothing and driving a small, two-door car, possibly a blue Toyota.

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