LAPD detectives are asking for the public's help in identifying a young woman who was caught on a surveillance camera stealing a 78-year-old victim's purse in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles late Friday morning.
The "strong arm robbery" took place at an apartment complex in the 400 block of South Berendo Street shortly before 11:30 a.m., according to a Los Angeles Police Department news release.
The female victim went into the building's lobby followed by a young woman who grabbed her purse, the release stated.
The victim tried to fend off the thief, who then forcefully pushed the older woman to the ground during the ensuing struggle, police said. She released the handbag and the other woman took off with it.
"This was absolutely a crime of opportunity, but also the suspect appears to be a predator that singled her out," said LAPD Lt. Hamed Mohammadi. "You could clearly see on the video that as she's walking to her apartment complex, the suspect is following her."
The victim was in a lot of pain Friday night, both physically and mentally, according to police.
"I spoke to the victim and her husband, and they're stable. At the same time, they were shaking when they were talking to me. I would have to assume that she was traumatized," said LAPD Detective Daniel Chi.
Police described the suspect as an African-American woman, approximately 20 to 25 years old, with red hair, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds. She was wearing a black jacket, black pants and pink tennis shoes.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective D. Chi or Detective R. Rodriguez at 213 382-9460. Tipsters should dial 877-527-3247 during non-business hours or on weekends, or they can leave information anonymously through L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.