CONROE, Texas – An 83-year-old man is recovering from surgery after someone pushed him and his wife to the ground and stole their car.
Conroe police said the incident happened Sunday outside the Family Dollar store at 703 E. Davis St.
Juanita Carnes, 73, and her husband, Douglas Carnes, help take care of their four grandkids.
She said after church Sunday, they stopped at the Family Dollar store to pick up baby wipes.
She said a man approached them and asked for money.
“'Normally we would help, but we’re trying to take care of some grandkids right now and we need it for them, to help take care of them,'” Juanita Carnes said she told the man. “When he (Douglas) said, ‘No,’ and he refused, the guy took and shoved his face and pushed him backward, and he hit the cement. I could hear it when he fell.”
Carnes said the man stole their car keys off of her husband. She said the thief walked over to her and pushed her away from the car. Carnes, who has had hip surgery, fortunately, did not fall.
“It’s just hard to see my parents go through it and, you know, my stepfather in a neck brace sitting there, and the doctor had said if the fracture had gone over just a little bit more, he would have been paralyzed,” Holly Haneline, Juanita Carnes’ daughter, said.
She said her stepfather had surgery for his neck and also suffered four broken ribs. Because of the injuries, he will have to go to a nursing home for at least a month.
The new silver Kia Soul, which had less than 5,000 miles on it, is still missing.
“They were so proud of that car. It’s the first time they have owned a new car and trying to do it to take care of the grandkids and doing everything they can just to get by,” Haneline said. “They have nothing. They literally would have given the man money if they had it that day. They’ve always been good, kind-hearted people ... giving, and she’s been really upset.”
The family said they’re already struggling to get by and what happened Sunday is a big blow for them.
Juanita Carnes said she’s a woman of faith and despite what has happened, she would forgive the man who caused her life to flip upside down.
“Like I told my daughter, the first thing I would say is I forgive him. I have to,” Carnes said.
“People work so hard for things, and to have it just robbed and taken away, as she said, the first thing she said is, 'I would tell him I forgive him.' And that’s how they are, that’s how kind-hearted they are,” Haneline said.
Click here to donate to the family's GoFundMe account.