Police investigating possible bump & rob crimes - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Police investigating possible bump & rob crimes

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PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - Imagine someone hitting your car as you're driving down the road -- just to rob you.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies say it has happened several times around town late at night: Robbers hitting your car, hoping you'll jump out, so they can make you their next victim.

Now, deputies are investigating what could be an attempted bump and rob crime that happened at 1 p.m. Sunday in suburban West Palm Beach.

It was a brazen assault and attempted robbery in broad daylight. Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies say a driver on Okeechobee Boulevard, near Sansburys Way, hit the victim's car, forcing her off the road.

"She described a small white car that intentionally struck the side of her car in what, she believes, was an attempt to make her stop," said Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant John Hill.

She told deputies when she got out, he grabbed for her purse. "We're unclear whether he took the purse or only attempted," explained Lt. Hill. "We're discussing that now after she's had a chance to calm down and tell us."

The woman, who was still too upset to talk, got her purse back, but not without a fight. She's recovering from bumps and scrapes from where he assaulted her. He was last seen heading west on Okeechobee Boulevard.

At this point, deputies are not sure if this attempted robbery is connected to a rash of bump and rob crimes happening around Palm Beach County. "At this time, there was a single suspect where prior we had more than one," said Lt. Hill. "There was no weapon involved here or none displayed so at this point. We don't know yet."

Investigators were still looking at the woman's car for clues. They said there were other differences between this crime and previous "bump and rob" incidents that they could not discuss during their investigation.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies said if someone does hit your car and you're not comfortable getting out of the car, don't get out. Pick up your phone and call 9-1-1 instead. "If you don't feel comfortable, certainly lock your doors, call police and say, 'I don't feel comfortable. This is what happened,'" said Lt. Hill. "We'll get someone to you right away."

If you have any information about what happened, call the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office at (561)688-3000 or call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (561) 458-TIPS (8477).

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