St. Pete purse snatching victim, 88, says karma will return to thief

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – At 88-years-old, Therese Frohne is very active. She owns the “La Cote Basque Winehouse” restaurant in Gulfport, drives a car and didn’t put up with a punk who wanted to rob her on Tuesday.

Security camera video from the Publix on 54th Avenue South in St. Petersburg shows the thief prior the robbery. He approached Frohne as she sat in her car.

She said he came up to her with a story.

“I’m lost. I have to get to [Interstate] 275 and I don’t know which way to go” she explained.

The interstate is within sight. Frohne said he claimed to be new to the area.

“And he goes, he goes, okay, never mind. Never mind,” she said.

With that, the robber took off.

“I thought, I better look for my purse in the back. In the back seat of my car. Gone.”

Inside was her driver’s license, social security card, three checkbooks, credit cards and important papers from her restaurant.

Frohne thinks he went after her because of her age.

“I’m on the south side now for 40 years, and I’ve never had anything happen to me like that,” she said.

Feeling violated and seething, the spry senior citizen wasn’t having it.

“That fast, he up and took off. And I jumped out and ran after him.”

The purse snatcher jumped in a white Prius and took off.

Hours later, a man found her purse in Pass-a-Grille.

“I don’t believe it! My purse…where did you find it?” she asked the stranger, who appeared at her home.

Frohne offers some words of advice to the thoughtless thief.

“I only can say, sorry, try to do something else. Because, one day, it’s gonna come back to you a million times,” she warned.

Frohne got some of her things back.

Somebody found her purse near a dumpster, but she’s still missing the check books and some other items. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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