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.

Comments (13)
  1. Brett says:

    You know, I just read some STUPID STORY in today’s Strib, talking about how ‘great’ the twin cities is, and then I read insane stories like this. To Doug Spong, who wrote the article from Carmichael Lynch, I’d say that you are a clueless, mind-numbing idiot, who has no clue about the REAL WORLD in this state. You see a half-full glass as OVERFILLED, but I can’t see why. It’s OK to be positive, but it is reckless to be unrealistic. The fact is, is that the twin cities are a collective TOILET. It STINKS to HIGH HEAVEN. You can’t go downtown, you can’t live in your own home, you can’t even LEAVE your home for a couple of days without it being RANSACKED or BURNED DOWN anymore.

    I tell people from all over the country that Minnesota is going downhill faster than an avalanche every time I talk to them. Doesn’t matter if it’s about the twin cities, St. Cloud, Duluth, Mille Lacs, there isn’t much here positive to talk about, and that taxpayer paid Guthrie is STILL UGLY, I don’t care WHO says anything GOOD about IT. Don’t even get me started on light rail….

  2. Brett says:

    Bergen, just go to bed. “Melodramitic”?? Nonsense, you need to get out once in a while, and get mugged along Hennepin or 1st Ave. or walk around looking like a Billionare, so the ‘occupiers’ know who who to ‘target, or light up your home inside and out for the holidays, so the burglars and see everything inside and out of your home, and rip you off royally.

  3. Brett says:

    So now, it’s “No big deal” to be beating up on or robbing seniors in their 80’s or 90’s?? REALLY? What kind of ‘Eden’ do you live in?

  4. Bergen says:

    Brett, take a deep breath and just calm down, you’re overreacting. I’m thinking this is not a new thing for you…ya know, overreacting. Oh well, you’ll be okay, son.

  5. eddyjames says:

    I noice there wasn’t a description of the suspect…hahaha I guess we know what that means,political correctness prohibits saying it wasn’t white

  6. Kevin says:

    Oh….ive got $1000 that this trash was Asian or Black…it just goes on…and on….and on…and on….see St Paul was once a great place to live. Now the elderly are stuck in this garbage dump. OVer 380,000 immigrants came to the Twin Cities this year and over 340,000 came last year. Nearly 85% were of color….and that does not even accoutn for the millions of illegals here…and yet the state tells us that 85% of MN is whtie…..its all bs….anyone with half a brain can see the truth…and if you cant…your a moron…

    1. Get real says:

      Wow, where do you get these crazy numbers? From the 2012 Tea Party Hand Book? I heard that 136,000 people slipped through the State Fair gates without paying the first two hours of the first Wednesday and none of them were born in this country!

  7. Kevin says:

    Is there a contact for this man? I want to donate his money back to him!

  8. I love diversity! says:

    The Thought Police have done a good job censoring this article. When no race is mentioned you can almost 99.9% of the time assume it was diversity that did this.

  9. jackactionhero says:

    If this “woman” isn’t morbidly obese, black, on welfare, and having at least 3 kids from at least two different absent fathers, I’ll eat my hat.

    1. just sayin says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised…

  10. MLK says:

    The thief was described as a “black female wearing K-Mart running shows and pink spandex…”

  11. warren says:

    glad to hear he recived his irreplacable belongings the looser tramp should get five years iam sure she is already abusing the system some peoples kids