Victim speaks out after I-95 rest stop robbery

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Victims speaks out after rest stop robbery (WTVD)

Authorities in Cumberland County are trying to identify a woman wanted in connection with an assault and attempted robbery at an Interstate 95 rest area last month.

On June 25 around 11 p.m., a family reported to authorities that they had stopped at the I-95 southbound rest area to use the restroom and stretch, when one of the female victims, Annette Wiitala, was attacked.

Wiitala spoke exclusively with ABC11 about the encounter she says changed her life.

"This woman comes up behind me, pushes on my back, and says, 'I want your bag,'" Wiitala explained. "Well, I just woke up. The water was running and I go 'What?' And she says 'I want your bag.'"

As the Wiitala turned, she saw the woman holding a pocket knife.

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The suspect then pushed the mother to the ground and the pair struggled over the purse.

During the struggle, the victim was cut on the left hand with the knife.

She screamed and the suspect ran out the restroom.

Authorities in Cumberland County are trying to identify a woman wanted in connection with an assault and attempted robbery at an Interstate 95 rest area on Jun 25th.



As the suspect ran out, she was confronted by the victim's daughter and husband.

Authorities said the daughter then snatched her mother's purse from the suspect.

Even though the suspect didn't get any money, Wiitala said she stole something even more valuable.

"The sense of trust, that you're going to a public place... That you're safe."

Wiitala is now calling on increased security at rest stops in North Carolina.

She doesn't plan to ever visit another rest area again, even though the North Carolina Highway Patrol regularly circles state rest areas.

The suspect was described as a white woman with blonde shoulder length hair pulled into a ponytail.

Authorities said she appeared to be in her mid-20s or mid-30s, about 5'5," and was last seen wearing black-colored jeans and a blue or black-colored short-sleeve shirt.

Anyone with information is urged to call 911, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at (910) 323-1500, or CrimeStoppers at (910) 483-tips (8477).


Related Topics:
newscumberland county newsrobberyFayetteville
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