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Newspaper Carrier, 73, Attacked, Robbed on Route

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ELYRIA, Ohio -- An elderly Elyria man delivering newspapers to supplement his retirement becomes the latest victim in a rash of early morning robberies.

Bruce Siffert, 73, is now recovering in his home after being beaten and bruised.

He delivers the Chronicle-Telegram and was halfway through his route on Fourth Street in Elyria around 5 a.m. on Thursday when he was jumped.

"And (the attacker) says, 'My mother's been shot and I got to get somewhere and he walked right up to me and hit me.  And one punch and I don't remember anything else, but he had hit me two or three times," Siffert recalled.

Siffert has two black eyes and his nose, cheekbones and even the roof of his mouth are broken.

He will eventually need surgery.

"He must have gone through my pockets, but I didn't have any money in there any how," Siffert said.

So the attacker took his car instead.

It's a 2001 Red PT Cruiser with Ohio license plate BT98XD.  Police have not found it.

Siffert had just brought the newspaper onto Joann Rizzi's front porch when he was attacked, something that came as a bit of a surprise to her.

"Oh, that is terrible.  This street has always been a safe street.  I have never felt threatened on this street," Rizzi said.

Elyria police said the assault on the newspaper carrier was one of three robberies that took place within two hours and within two city blocks.

A 53-year-old was robbed of his wallet just after 6 a.m. on East River Street.

A 17-year-old girl walking down Fourth Street was knocked to the ground and stripped of her purse.

That happened just two hours after Siffert was attacked.

Elyria Police Lt. Andy Eichenlaub said this was unusual in what is normally a quiet neighborhood.

"I can't recall a time where we have had a rash of this kind of violent crime happen in such a short period of time," Lt. Eichenlaub said.

Police said these crimes should be a reminder to people to always be aware of their surroundings.

Siffert said he plans to return to delivering newspapers after he recovers.

"I'll just be super cautious," Siffert added.