Crooks snatch woman's purse and punch her in front of kids in NW Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston mother is warning her Oak Forest neighbors to stay vigilant after she was approached and assaulted in her own driveway.

The mom who wanted to go by only Lauren says it all happened this week in broad daylight.

She said she had just picked up her 3-year-old from school and had her 3-month-old in the car, when she got home and parked at the end of the driveway to roll in her trash can.

Within minutes, a man with a gun walked up and demanded Lauren's car keys.

"My first instinct was to say no," she said. "I refused my keys. I said, 'No, I have babies in the car. Babies in the car. Babies in the car. You can't have my keys.'"

At that point, the man retreated, but his partner in the getaway vehicle wasn't satisfied.

Lauren told Eyewitness News a second man hopped out, ripped Lauren's purse from her body, punched her in the jaw, then took off. Cameras were able to capture a tiny image of the suspects getting away, but so far, no one has been arrested and no one knows who's responsible.

Lauren's purse was found dumped nearby at 42nd and Sue Barnett and returned to her, but her credit cards and wallet were gone.

"The constable that found the purse actually said that they've noticed an uptick in this behavior - just sort of that desperate, 'Give me what you have' behavior from criminals," she explained.

Lauren's 3-year-old witnessed everything, and asked, "Mommy, why did those bad men hurt you and are they coming back?" She's doing better now, and the incident has not only made the rounds on the app Nextdoor, but it also taught Lauren a lot.

"We've learned that lesson through this experience that the more you know your neighbors, the better off really, everyone is," she said.

Follow Erica Simon on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.