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Elderly woman choked, robbed in a garage in south city

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Residents in the Shaw neighborhood are shocked and disgusted after a 71-year-old woman was mugged inside a detached residential garage.

People in the 4000 block of Magnolia Place said it's usually a fairly quiet street.

"We have been lucky by being secluded," said neighbor Liz Baker.

That luck ran out Thursday night when the victim pulled into her detached garage. When she got out of her car, a man grabbed her around the neck and forced her to the ground. He stole her tote bag, which contained a cell phone and cash.

"Absolutely horrible, it's crazy it hits so close to home," said Robin Woehr, who lives next door.

It appears to be similar to at least a half dozen other cases in south city where folks were attacked in their garages this summer. Some people were robbed, others carjacked. Police said they’re looking at a total of four suspects in those crimes.

"I'm not surprised to see violence happen in St. Louis," Woehr said.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Doston does not think this most recent case is related to the others.

"We've made some progress on the other cases, I think this is more of a copy cat than the other individuals," Dotson said.

On Friday evening, people in the neighborhood were being careful going into their ally at night to do simple chores like taking out the trash – if at all.

"Always during the day I never go out back at night ever," Woehr said.

Thursday night's incident upset many people, including the police chief.

“It upsets me quite a bit that there our people in our community that prey on our elderly," Dotson said.

The suspect was described as muscular man in his 20s, standing about 6' 2'' and weighing approximately 200 pounds. He was last seen driving away in an older model Honda Pilot.