Amber Kay Hardy, 30, of Northfield has been charged with two felony counts of robbery after a woman was robbed and dragged through the parking lot of the Pine City Walmart.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Pine County Court, on Jan. 1 at 11:19 p.m. Pine County 911 dispatchers received a call of a possible robbery at the Walmart in Pine City.
A deputy spoke to the victim, a woman in her 70s. The victim said that she had been walking out to her car with a bag containing her groceries and saw someone standing near her car as she got close to it. There was another car stopped nearby so she didn’t think much of it. She said when she put her groceries down to unlock her car, the person came around the front of her car, grabbed her purse and tried to run off with it.
The victim still had a hand on her purse and tried to hold onto it, but the person was pulling so hard that she was being dragged behind and she fell to the ground. The person continued to drag her and the purse after she fell.
A car pulled up and the person started getting in the car, so the victim let go of her purse so she would not be further injured.
The victim had a bloody nose and soreness in her arms, neck, back, knees, and hands as a result of the incident.
The deputy spoke to two witnesses who had come to the aid of the victim. They both stated that they didn’t see the beginning of the incident, but saw the victim being dragged across the parking lot, and then saw someone wearing a light-colored cap get into a vehicle that took off. They both went to help the victim.
The vehicle was described as a maroon sedan, possibly a Buick, with a license plate containing the numbers 517.
An alert was put out to neighboring agencies to be on the lookout for the vehicle. An officer with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office located a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle shortly thereafter southbound on Forest Boulevard in Harris.
In the car were a driver and three passengers. The front passenger met the physical description of the suspect and was identified as Hardy. During a search of the vehicle, a light-colored stocking cap was found underneath the front passenger seat where Hardy had been sitting. Inside the stocking cap were items that belonged to the victim, including a credit card in her name. An almost empty wallet was found in the driver’s door panel. The victim’s distinctive Winnie the Pooh purse was located inside the vehicle.
One of the passengers told officers that Hardy was supposed to be picking up a moneygram at Walmart but she never went inside. He said she told them to park in a handicapped spot and she got out and was walking between the cars. He said he saw Hardy struggling with a woman and saw the woman fall down. Hardy got back into the car with a purse and she did not have a purse before that. He said they started driving south and Hardy and the driver were arguing.
The driver admitted that she had been in Pine City at the Walmart. She said she told Hardy to give the purse back but Hardy told her to drive so she did. She said she was scared of Hardy.
Video footage of the incident shows the victim exiting the Walmart and walking to her car with her purse and a bag of Walmart merchandise.
As she nears her vehicle, footage shows the Buick driving slowly forward in the parking spot and the front passenger exiting the vehicle. The passenger approaches the victim and they are visibly struggling. The passenger starts pulling the victim toward the Buick. The victim falls to the ground near the Buick and the passenger quickly opens the door to the Buick and gets inside with the purse. The Buick immediately leaves the parking lot.
Hardy has been charged in Pine County Court with one felony count of aggravated robbery and one felony count of simple robbery. The maximum sentence for aggravated robbery is 25 years in prison or $35,000 fine or both. The maximum sentence for simple robbery is 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.