ROSSVILLE, GA (WRCB) -- A Rossville grandmother says someone swiped her purse and stole her car as she shopped at a local Bi-Lo grocery store.
Her car has been returned, and police say the suspect is a 12-year-old runaway.
"When they got my purse, I just thought my purse was gone, I went out to get my car and my car was gone," said 86-year-old Tiny Alice Cox.
Cox, a working woman, turned her back for a split second while shopping at the Rossville Bi-Lo. That's all it took for the suspect to snatch her purse right out of her shopping cart. She didn't get a close look at who was behind her but she did notice something, "I knew he was young, a young kid."
He was young, shockingly young. Rossville Police Detective David Scroggins said the suspect was 12-years-old. Scroggins said it was the same 12-year-old that was reported missing by Chattanooga Police some two hours after the Bi-Lo incident.
The child is now in custody and Tiny's car was found ditched in a St. Elmo alley. It's since been returned.
"I'm so happy, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't go to work or anything like that without my car," Cox said.
Tiny agreed that something is not right about a child, not old enough to work, stealing from an 86-year-old who still has to work. The Christmas money from her purse and Christmas gifts from her trunk are still missing.
While the past 24 hours have been beyond stressful for Tiny, she found a reason to keep her Christmas spirit right after the robbery.
"I had all my groceries sitting in the buggy which I was going to just leave it," she said. "This nice young couple came up and paid for them and I didn't want them to but they did. So we do have a few nice people in this world. Not a lot but a few."