Elderly sisters robbed, knocked down in Boca Raton, incident caught on surveillance video

One suffered 2 broken ribs

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Two sisters were shopping at a Publix store in Boca Raton Thursday, April 12, when they were victims of a purse snatching caught on video, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. 

After the sisters went shopping, they went outside to wait for a bus. A surveillance video shows the bus driver extending the wheelchair ramp.

A man is then seen walking up to the women, grabbing a purse, knocking them both to the ground and taking off.

The women gave a description to detectives. They later arrested 19-year-old Adam Bardisa.

Palm Tran released several different angles of video from the bus. The video shows how quickly the incident happened.
Detectives say about 40 minutes before the robbery, the women were inside shopping. The women were at the service counter purchasing money orders.

The suspect can be seen in video staring at the women, appearing to return something at the counter and riding off on his razor scooter towards the store's exit doors.

The woman in the wheelchair, who is 96 years old, suffered two broken ribs from the fall.  

Boca Raton resident Frank Morillo says it wasn't like this when he was a kid.

"We had respect for people. We helped them," said Morillo. "If I see an older person, I try to help them. Bring them to their car, help with groceries."

After watching the video, former Boca Police Chief Andrew Scott called the suspects actions cowardly.

"Any criminal who takes advantage of the elderly, the weak, children, unarmed individuals, I have to tell you that they are cowards," said Scott.

Bardisa appeared in court Tuesday, charged with strong-arm robbery and aggravated battery.

Bardisa's own father turned him in after seeing photos released by police.

"More parents should have that moral fiber and courage that this man did," said Scott.

Scott says if you notice someone following you in such a public place, that there's nothing wrong with yelling for help.

"Immediately, that individual, or the suspect in this case would have fled. He does not want to attract that scene," said Scott.

Morillo said this incident illustrates a deep problem that's hard to pinpoint.

"The new generation has changed so much," he said. "We're having so many problems. I hope things change."

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