Recounts 95-year-old crime buster: ‘I’m calling the cops’

Not every crime fighter wears a bullet-proof vest or stands six foot four.

By Joyce Coronel

Not every crime fighter wears a bullet-proof vest or stands six foot four.  That much was evident when representatives of the Tempe police department visited Westchester Senior Living to recognize an elderly resident who managed to thwart a bike thief.

At 95 years young, Agnes had no qualms about scaring off a would-be thief. Thomas Ballard, resident director at Westchester, asked Agnes how she managed to foil the plot.

“She said that when she saw him, she became suspicious so she yelled at him saying, ‘What are you doing? Leave that bike alone! I’m calling the cops!’”

The suspect then ran away. He had already cut the security chain on the bike with a chain cutter he was concealing inside a guitar case. “Agnes said she loves her community and neighbors and would do anything to protect them,” Ballard reported.

Tempe police visited Agnes at Westchester to express their appreciation. “She was recognized for her actions and given a Tempe badge pin and coffee cup for her bravery and courageous efforts,” said Det. Liliana Duran of the Tempe police.

“There was no official award but she is certainly appreciated and loved by our police department. We also highlighted her on our social media pages,” Duran said.

Ballard said he thinks Agnes may have picked up some crime-fighting skills at the senior living center. It’s all part of an effort to break the cycle of crime in the city.

“We have a brand new Neighborhood Block Watch Program here at Westchester where residents have attended meetings sponsored by Tempe police teaching them about situation awareness and what to do in the event of suspicious activity. I think Agnes’ alert and quick response was a testament to this training,” Ballard said.