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Robbery of unconscious Kansas woman is called ‘a dastardly crime’

Updated: 2014-01-04T00:15:33Z

The Wichita Eagle

— Police on Friday were still looking for the person who stole a purse, iPhone and wedding ring from an unconscious woman who suffered a fatal brain aneurysm outside a Taco Bell restaurant.

Gordon Bassham, executive director of the Wichita Crime Commission, called the Sunday night robbery of Danielle Zimmerman “a dastardly crime.”

“You have to shake your head and ask, ‘How can someone do something like this?’ ” Bassham said. “It’s hard to believe someone like this lives in our community.”

The evening began routinely for Zimmerman and her family.

Husband Kris Zimmerman, a 47-year-old engineer at Beechcraft, was watching football, and their 13-year-old son had a friend over to spend the night.

Danielle went to Taco Bell to get dinner for everyone.

When she had been gone 30 minutes, Kris Zimmerman tried her phone, but his call went straight to voice mail. After 15 more minutes without an answer, he went looking for his wife.

As Zimmerman was backing out of their driveway, police pulled up and told him that his wife of 21 years had passed out and had been taken to a hospital.

She died Monday at age 43.

At the hospital, Kris Zimmerman learned that his wife’s belongings were missing. Someone had taken them while she lay unconscious after her pickup truck struck the speaker box and came to a stop in the Taco Bell drive-through.

“What really appalled me — the wedding ring. How could you take somebody’s wedding ring off their finger?” he asked. “Instead of trying to help her, somebody robbed her.”

Police recovered the purse, including photos of the couple’s 13- and 18-year-old sons, after children found it Monday while sledding. Still missing were $150 in cash, some credit cards and the phone.

Kris Zimmerman has been told that people quickly gathered around his wife’s vehicle after the crash and that someone from a hospital across the street was trying to help her. But police said the thief apparently had a short time to steal the items before emergency crews arrived.

Police said Friday they would like to talk to a man who was in a silver car in front of Danielle Zimmerman’s pickup.

“The driver … exited that vehicle and appeared to be walking toward Mrs. Zimmerman’s vehicle,” Capt. Brent Allred said.

By the time the Taco Bell manager came outside, the driver had returned to the silver car and was leaving the parking lot, Allred said.

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