St. Petersburg Police are searching for the person who robbed an elderly wheelchair-bound man Tuesday.
Ronald Prgomelja, 74, was leaving the Walgreens store located at 2195 66th Street North at 5:30 p.m. Surveillance video from inside the store shows Prgomelja wheeling away from the check out counter and out of the door.
The suspected thief, wearing a black and white striped shirt, follows Prgomelja out of the store. On his way out, the man bumps a customer's arm and apologizes. Police say that's where his good manners stopped.
"Boom. Boom. Just like that," said Prgomelja, explaining how quickly the robbery happened.
After Prgomelja paid for his things, he wheeled out of the door. He says the next thing he knew, the man was right there. He snatched his wallet right out of his lap and almost tipped over his wheelchair.
"The suspect in this case was just laying in wait, looking for a good victim. And when we saw this man, it was obvious he had an easy target," said St. Petersburg Police Spokesman Mike Puetz.
Prgomelja says he had $200 in his wallet, along with important medical cards and cherished pictures. The Army veteran says he needed that money for a neck brace. He's also saving up for a new scooter.
His case manager at his assisted living home says being able to get out and go is so important.
"It's everything for them to, one, get out of the bedroom to the living room; two, get out of the living room to the front porch; and three, to go across the street to the park and down the road," said Wes Wing.
Puetz says it's probably not the robber's first crime, and they want him turned him.
"This isn't the type of thing we want to happen in our community, and we would hope that even though this may be somebody you know or maybe even friends with, that you would help us put a stop to this," he said.
In the meantime, Prgomelja says he's not afraid to go back to Walgreens, and he will.
Police describe the suspect as black, 25 to 35 years old, 5'10" to 6' tall, and 160 - 170 pounds.
He was wearing a black and white striped polo shirt, jeans, and a black baseball hat with some sort of logo. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to please call St. Petersburg Police.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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