Woman targeted by phone thieves inside deli 'acted appropriately': Constable

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 65-year-old grandmother says she is still trying to recover emotionally after being thrown to the ground during a robbery.

"Yes, I got scared. Yes, I was scared and yes, I am scared," the woman, who did not want to be identified said.

She says she was in a Metro PCS store off Fuqua and Almeda when three masked men walked in with a gun, demanded cash from the register, and then, threw her to the ground.

Harris Co. Pct. 1 Constable Alan Rosen says she did the right thing after being attacked.

"When she was brought down to the ground, she did not move," said Rosen. "So, they quit focusing on her. They had guns in that particular instance, so she did the absolute right thing."

RELATED: 65-year-old grandmother slammed to ground while trying to pay cell phone bill during robbery

Mary Rutkowski, 88, says she had a long physical recovery after being sucker punched while walking out of an H-E-B on Buffalo Speedway in West University.

"I just took a glance at him, and as I walked by he hit me in the head and I went over and passed out," Rutkowski said.

Constable Rosen says no one tried to fight the suspect back, which helped keep the situation from escalating.

"Do whatever you have to do to show that you're not a threat to those suspects," he said.

Richard Howard, who was sitting in a wheelchair outside that H-E-B, is accused of hitting Rutkowski.

He was found, arrested and charged.

RELATED: Man seen knocking down 88-year-old woman outside of southwest Houston H-E-B

In a third surveillance video, a woman is seen eating alone inside a McAllister's Deli on FM 1960.

While sitting at a table, two men are seen running up behind her, one of them grabs the phone from her ear and they both take off.

Constable Rosen says the woman acted appropriately by not chasing them down.

"In every instance, if somebody is going to come up to you and they're willing to use force to take a belonging from you, it can be replaced."

He says if you are targeted to remember three important tips: stop making eye contact, comply with demands, and never chase after the criminal.

"Sometimes the criminals say, 'I know they've identified me, I've got to kill this person,'" Constable Rosen said.

He also advises one way to avoid becoming a target is by making strong eye contact from the beginning so criminals will not label you as vulnerable.

SEE MORE: Robbers rip woman's phone from her hand while she's talking on it at McAlister's Deli in NW Houston

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