"It's a crime of opportunity,” said Brenham Police Officer Seth Klehm.
It happened in the middle of the day at the Brenham HEB.
“My wife said, "Look, that guy just pushed that lady to the ground," and so as soon as he ran around the front of the car and jumped in, we took off trying to get the license plate mainly," said a witness, who wishes to remain anonymous.
On Saturday around 2:30, police say a 77-year-old woman who was loading groceries in her car was attacked by 42-year-old Dalton Wayne Vest. Investigators say he pushed her to the ground, stole her purse, and then hopped in his getaway car that they say was driven by 28-year-old Donald Joseph Dekeyser.
“The tall guy that was balding and had thin hair on the side was the one that actually struggled with her and pulled her to the ground and snatched her purse from her,” said the witness.
The man you hear on the phone wishes to remain anonymous due to safety reasons, but he says he and his wife weren't going to let the suspects get away.
“We got on the phone with 911 to give him a description of the vehicle and we were following him as far as we were following them as long as we could to try and get 911 to figure out where we were and to get police in pursuit,” the witness said.
The two suspects only got two miles down the road when all of a sudden authorities say the suspects crashed their vehicle in between the Ford and Dodge Dealership along the feeder road of Highway 290. The witness says the two suspects immediately bailed out of the car and ran into an open field.
“They were running across the pasture to over the fence and they still had the lady's handbag with them,” the witness said.
“From start to finish it took us about two hours,” said Officer Klehm.
Officer Klehm and his K9 Ronny arrived on scene. He says Ronnie was able to sniff out the location of the suspects which led to their arrests.
“If he [witness] wouldn't have followed them and gotten the detailed information we needed as officers, we wouldn't have been able to locate the suspects,” officer Klehm said.
Dekeyser is charged with robbery and Vest is charged with robbery and injury to an elderly person. Both remain in the Washington County Jail.
We’re told the 77-year-old victim suffers hip and shoulder injuries.