Woman robs 88-year-old Kansas City veteran in broad daylight, ripping his pants to steal wallet

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An 88-year-old war veteran was robbed in broad daylight as he left a Kansas City pharmacy –and police say a mother left her baby alone in the car to commit the crime.

Corletta Luster, 31, is now facing city charges for stealing and endangering the welfare of a child, along with a slew of other traffic tickets.

The robbery happened during morning hours outside Walgreens at the corner of Bannister and Blue Ridge Boulevard in South KC.

Korean War veteran Bill, 88, and his wife of 61 years were leaving the store, when police say Luster came up behind him and tried to snatch his wallet out of his back pocket.

“I was kind of shook up right at first,” Bill said. “I just can’t believe it happened to me in broad daylight!”

Bill struggled with her, but said Luster ripped a hole in his pants and made off with $50.

“After she got my bill fold out, she turned around and started running off,” he said.

Luster drove away, but not before Bill could get her license plate number – key information that helped officers track Luster down outside her home.

Police discovered that her 7-month-old baby had allegedly been in the car when she was at the store committing the robbery.

“I was in such shock,” Bill said. “I’ve never had it done before like that.”

Now charged with stealing and child endangerment, Luster is a mother whom Bill said he would've helped, had she just asked.

“If she would’ve come up with her baby,” Bill said, “and said, ‘Would you help? I don`t have any money to feed my baby,’ I probably would’ve given her some money.”

Luster was charged in June in Lee’s Summit for stealing, and police said she is being investigated in another strong-armed robbery in Grandview.

As for her most recent charges, Luster pleaded guilty in Kansas City municipal court, was released from jail and given two years probation.