LOWELL (CBS) – A Lowell woman was robbed of $40 as she rode in her wheelchair on Salem Street, and is outraged about the two suspects who followed her from a trip to a Sovereign Bank. “I think they’re jerks to rob somebody who’s handicapped and in a motorized wheelchair as I’m still going,” said Norma Holmes who has cerebral palsy.
Holmes says she felt a tap on her shoulder and someone cut the string that was holding her purse around her neck. It contained $40 she was going to use to purchase some DVDs, and irreplaceable family photos she carries with her.
She says with a hood on she didn’t get a look at the suspects, but a witness apparently did. Lowell Police also say surveillance cameras on the street captured images of the two suspects running away. Police arrested 18-year-old Elvin Alvarez and a 16-year-old juvenile accomplice on Tuesday after they allegedly tried to use Holmes’ EBT card at a local grocery store. They were stopped in a car driving without a license, say police.
“I’d actually like to see them stay in jail for quite a long time, and actually pay me,” she said. Alvarez was held on $500 bail. Holmes says it’s not about the money she lost, but about being left to feel vulnerable to street thugs. “The important thing is that this never happens to anyone. It shouldn’t happen,” she said.