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‘Never let your guard down’: 78-year-old great-grandma, daughter robbed inside restaurant

AUBURN, Wash. —  A 78-year-old great-grandmother and her daughter are recovering after Auburn Police say they were victims of a strong-armed robbery inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Auburn.

While police search for the suspects, the women say it’s a lesson for everyone to never let your guard down.

“All we’re doing is just sitting there, two women laughing, not even thinking about protecting ourselves. Next thing I know they (the robbers) were playing tug-of-war with my purse,” says Sue Cordova.

Sue and her daughter, Pate Headdress, say the attack came out of nowhere.

“You can feel, it’s a lump. He must have clipped me in my chest, but I can’t touch it because it’s really sore,” says Pate.

Auburn Police say it happened at a McDonald’s while the two women sat talking in a booth.

Pate says she noticed two men dressed in dark clothing lurking near their table.

“Next thing I know, this guy was leaning over, trying to grab her bag and it was on -- and I wasn’t letting go of it!  He’s all over me and he’s punching and I just kind of held her purse.  I rolled over to hang onto it and he’s still trying to jerk it out of my hands and I’m trying to kick him,” says Pate.

Investigators say McDonald’s employees yelled at the two men and the two suspects took off with both Pate and Sue’s cell phones.

The management at McDonald’s didn’t want to comment, but Auburn Police say one of the employees identified the two suspects. And while police aren’t releasing the surveillance video of the attack, they are offering this warning for diners anywhere: If you’re dining at a restaurant with your purse and phone, keep your purse close by you and never leave your phone sitting on the table. Tuck it away out of sight.

If you find yourself in a situation like Pate and Sue, police say don’t fight; nothing is worth your life.

“You have to be aware. You just can’t let your guard down,” says Pate.

Anyone with information on this crime should contact Auburn Police.