Public Help’s Sought in ID’ing Man Who Snatched Purse From Woman Leaving Manhattan Beach Church

Police are hoping to identify a suspect after a woman's purse was stolen as she left mass at her church in Manhattan Beach on Thursday, officials said.

The incident occurred around 1:15 p.m. at the American Martyrs Church on the 600 block of 15th Street, Manhattan Beach police said in a news release.

The woman, in her 70s, was knocked to the ground amid the struggle, officers said.

Her daughter, Giselle Zamora, told KTLA the victim broke several bones and was expected to undergo surgery on Friday.

Zamora said her mother has been crying over the frightening ordeal, which took her by complete surprise.

“He attacked my mother from behind and grabbed her purse, and they were struggling for a minute," she said. "Finally she let go, and she fell.”

Her mother had initially pulled back her purse as a natural instinct because she was unaware she was being robbed, Zamora said.

Zamora was incensed that her mother had been taken advantage of.

“When you see her walking, you see that she has difficulty, with a limp,” she said.

Officials described the suspect as a white or Latino man wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt.

He was seen fleeing the scene toward 15th Street and Laurel Avenue in a sedan that is believed to be a silver or gray four-door BMW. The car's windows were heavily tinted, police said.

Investigators asked anyone with surveillance cameras in the area of 15th Street between Laurel Avenue and Pacific Avenue, and on Pacific Avenue between Marine Avenue and Manhattan Beach Boulevard, to share any footage they may have of the incident.

The Manhattan Beach Police Department tip line can be reached at 310-802-5171.