PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Thursday afternoon shopping trip to the Countryside Mall in Clearwater still haunts 71-year-old Jeanne Plaskett. As Plaskett walked to her SUV, she noticed a woman between Whole Foods and Sears.
As Plaskett got into her SUV, the woman surprised her. “The next thing I know, there’s someone on top of me. She literally jumped in the car on top of me, grabbed my purse and started to run,” Plaskett explained.
Plaskett wasn’t about to give up without a fight. “I grabbed a hold of her. I actually tried to bite her. But I grabbed a hold of her shirt,” she said.
Clearwater Police officers tell News Channel 8 the suspect is 26-year-old Amber Arnesen. They believe Arnesen also carjacked an 83-year-old woman in the Port Richey Publix parking lot on Ridge Road Thursday morning.
Investigators say Arnesen approached the 83-year-old woman in the parking lot and asked if she needed help loading her groceries. The woman said no. Investigators say Arnesen then reached into the woman’s pocket, grabbed her keys and stole her Cadillac.
Arnesen drove to the end of the shopping plaza, picked up an unidentified man, and then drove away.
Largo Police arrested Arnesen early Friday morning. They initially let the man go. Now, they are looking for him, as they believe he is also behind this string of crimes against seniors.
At the Pinellas County Jail, deputies inventoried Arnesen’s belongings. It appears she had Plaskett’s iPhone and other items.
Plaskett was not injured. She said the suspect used her credit cards at a number of stores. Now, the victim actually feels sorry for the suspect. “I think it’s really sad, just sad, sad, sad,” Plaskett said.