Man arrested after robbing Gastonia mother and son in store parking lot

- Gastonia Police arrested Jeffrey Todd Coleman after he stole a bag of groceries from a mother and son in broad daylight in a Save-A-Lot parking lot.

Coleman has been charged with robbery, resisting arrest, liquor violations, and trespassing. 

Lena Smith of Gastonia says she was putting her groceries in her car when Coleman came up from behind her and tried to snatch a bag of groceries out of her hand. 

“I said thank you I don’t need your help, but he just kept on screaming, being belligerent,” said Smith.

After Smith refused to give up the bag, Coleman walked to the front of the car, and tried to grab Smith’s son.

“My heart was shaking, it was beating fast,” said Dovan Smith.  “I thought he was gonna hurt me and momma.”

The Gastonia mother acted fast, grabbing her son away from the man. Coleman then reached into the cart and took off with a bag of food worth about fifteen dollars.

Smith is now encouraging others not to shop alone, and says she won't be returning to the Save-A-Lot.

Coleman is being held in the Gaston County Jail.

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