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Woman robbed by Garfield Heights escaped prisoner: 'I have no idea what was going through his mind'

Posted at 10:55 PM, Nov 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-25 22:55:23-05

Two Garfield Heights women are counting their blessings this Thanksgiving weekend.

Both victimized Friday, by a 34-year old who triggered a massive manhunt that ended in a fiery crash

RELATED: Escaped prisoner from Garfield Heights killed in fiery car crash

"I have no idea what was going through his mind, but there were some desperate things going on," said Monique Malone.

Malone came face-to-face with Donnie Thomas after he stole her purse from a convenience store as she was checking out.

"As I chased him out the store I was hollering get him, 'get him, he stole my purse,'" said Malone.

Thomas was trying to outrun police from multiple departments after escaping from the Garfield Heights Jail.

"I don't feel safe in my home anymore," said Jasmine Johnson.

Before stealing Thomas’ purse, police said Thomas broke into Johnson's home. There they said he stole her husband's shoes, a jacket and her laptop before grabbing her car keys.

"This random person with this random act of violence just broke into my home, stole my car, blew it up on the freeway and for what," said Johnson.

Thomas was killed when he slammed Johnson's car into a concrete barrier on the Jennings freeway which ended in a fiery crash.

"Some of my daughters' Christmas gifts were burned up in the car," said Johnson.

Malone said she is thankful that no one was hurt during the crime spree that she said put so many innocent people at risk.

“It cost him his life. Was it worth all of that? I don't think so. And I don't think that was his intention," said Malone.