Dragged 250m after trying to stop thieves
WARNING: Graphic content.
A Western Australian woman, trying to stop a pair of brazen thieves from stealing her $300 belt, will spend days in hospital after her body was dragged by their getaway car.
Alex Elliott, 22, from Coolbellup, Perth, was left with horrific injuries after she latched onto the car as one of the thieves tried to speed away from her home with the stolen goods.
She had put an ad on Gumtree to sell a Gucci belt for $290 to help pay her bills, a belt the pair of thieves acted interested in.
After showing up at her and her boyfriend's house on Saturday night, the pair spoke with the couple for around 10 minutes before making off with the belt.
Ms Elliott's boyfriend David chased one thief into a nearby park, tackling him and holding him down until police could arrive.
When they made the arrest, officers realised he was just 15 years old.
Ms Elliott went after the other one, who had managed to make it into their getaway car with her belt.
Desperate for the money, Ms Elliott latched onto the man as he drove off, dragging her for 250m down the road.
"They were just gonna pick up more and more speed until I fell off so I let go and then I hit so heavy on the ground," Ms Elliott told 7News.
Through tears, Ms Elliott told reporters her daring act came from a point of desperation.
"I really needed the money and I think that's why I chased after them," she said.
A witness named Tianna said she saw Ms Elliott on the road with horrific injuries including losing skin to much of her feet, legs and body.
"I heard a bang and her screaming and I knew then something bad had happened," Tianna told 7News. "I had to call the police and get an ambulance here as quick as I could."
Police said the Saturday night robbery was the fifth of its kind in four hours. All five alleged crimes involved men posing as interested Gumtree buyers before robbing the seller at their home.
Ms Elliott, who admitted she was already struggling to pay her bills on time, started a GoFundMe page to help with ambulance and household bills while she recuperates.
"I was trying to sell my Gucci belt to pay for bills but now I'm in hospital unable to work. I now have an ambulance bill on top," the 22-year-old wrote.
"Any donations will be greatly appreciated, as I'm not a Centrelink recipient but just a ABN self-employed cleaner."
Ms Elliott's terrifying incident wasn't the first time people innocently trying to sell things on Gumtree have become victims of robbery.
In November another Perth woman, Tanika Capaldi, was bashed after a woman claiming to be interested in buying her car instead bashed and robbed her.
Ms Capaldi was expecting the woman to test drive her 2000 Ford before buying it when instead she launched an aggressive attack against the seller.
"I'd try to run, and she'd grab me by the hair, started punching me in the face, kneeing me in the face and kicking me in the face," Ms Capaldi told Nine News.
"I ended up laying on the floor in the gravel facedown, just to try and protect my face."