Punched in the face, her purse and money stolen; Fresno woman thought she’d never get her cash back

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Words from the heart, as Fresno Police Officer David Ponek handed over a check, three months in the making.

“Through persistence and determination, we made this finally happen, and it was a good feeling to be able to hand her that check today,” Ponek said. 

Back in January, Ponek says two women stole a purse from Blanca Valle, a single mother of three, who was getting her nails done at this salon, on Ventura street.

Valle says, she had just set her purse down.

In the purse, $3,000.

Valle was hoping to use the money to buy a truck, the very next day.

“She tried to recover it from the parking lot, she was punched in the face,” Ponek said.

Valle planned to start a business delivering tortillas. That dream, crushed.

“I remember the first night at that hair salon, when she had lost her purse,” Ponek said. “You could see the news footage from back then, the expression on her face, the devastation.”

Ponek started a GoFundMe account. He says multiple organizations also stepped in, donating cash, culminating in this emotional moment, Monday.

“Muy emocianal in el momento,” Valle said Monday, telling us, she never thought she’d get that money back.

Valle is thankful to good people in the world, and she says, infinitely grateful to the police.

“Infinitamente agradecida por parte de la policía.”

“I’m so happy today to be able to hand her a check and see her smile,” Ponek said. “It’s really a good feeling.”

Officials say one of those suspects pleaded guilty and received a year in jail, with three years probation. 

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