Reporting Rachel Slavik
ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A Christmas grinch targeted a 91-year-old man, taking a wallet right out of his hand over the holiday weekend.
If there’s one thing Harvey Prochnow has learned in his 91 years, it’s that life has its setbacks.
“I’ve had other things in life where you have to start over again, like when my wife died,” said Prochnow, who had his wallet stolen.
On Christmas Eve, he was reminded of that lesson at a St. Paul convenience store.
“I didn’t notice her. She was behind me,” said Prochnow.
While paying for a purchase, a woman yanked his wallet right out of his hand.
“I just had the edge of it and she gave a jerk and away she went,” said Prochnow.
The woman took off out the store. Prochnow’s reaction was to follow.
“I suppose I was yelling at her with my good Navy language,” he said. “I forgot I can’t run anymore.”
The chase was over in a matter of seconds. Prochnow was out $180, a credit card and an ID, but also in his wallet were items worth far more to him.
“I’m broken hearted to lose all this stuff,” said Prochnow.
Among the most important, a card that marked his 1945 discharge from the Navy. Not to mention other mementos that he gathered through the years.
“You got a lot of notes, important only to me. No one else cares,” he said.
Two days later, Prochnow still isn’t angry. Ninety-one years have also taught him a thing or two about compassion.
“She’s had experiences that have scarred her life. I can’t be mad at her. She doesn’t know any better,” said Prochnow.
His hope is that the long holiday weekend will prevent that thief from making off with a lot of money since banks were closed for Christmas. The thief was caught on surveillance video at the store. Prochnow hopes that leads to an arrest.