Robbery victim receives community support

April 14, 2019 11:20 PM

ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Seventy two year old Lorraine Palma was assaulted and robbed last Wednesday.

Rochester Police say a 15 year old boy stole her keys, got in her car and led police on a chase through the city before eventually crashing in Gates. 


"The car is totaled, the engine is like in the front seat," Palma said.

Palma is sore and recovering from the attack, but she says things could be worse.

"I feel sorry what happened to the car," Palma said. "But it could be replaced."

Webster resident, Roger Van Houten heard Palma's story and wanted to help.

"It really is maddening that individuals can be that callous towards an elderly woman," Van Houten said.

Palma only has liability insurance on the car so the replacement costs fall on her. Van Houten started a gofundme account for Palma.

"The thing that is so amazing to me is how Rochester community has responded to the gofundme and the calls for help," Van Houten said.

In just a few days, the account racked up more than $5,000 catching the attention of Kitty Van Bortel.

"I thought about my own mother and what it would be like if she didn't have an automobile," Van Bortel said. "I had a chance to talk to Lorraine and she is really suffering."

Van Bortel owns several car dealerships. She has pledged to match the gofundme donations up to $10,000 to help Palma get a new car.

"If everyone could just give a minimum amount I think that we can reach our challenge and get her a new car," Van Bortel said.

Palma says she is overwhelmed by the community support. Sometime this week VanBortel says they hope to bring Palma in to shop around for a new car.


Kaci Jones

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