Authorities are searching for a man who stole a woman's purse as he threw her to the ground in Whittier last week, authorities said Monday.
A surveillance image and description of the man has been released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He is accused of robbing Stephanie Guerrero as she walked in the parking lot area of 13739 Meyer Rd. on May 27 shortly before 8:30 p.m.
Sheriff's officials said he went behind the victim before pulling on her purse as she walked with her 4-year-old son, pushing her to the ground.
The stolen purse, a gray Victoria's Secret bag, contained identification documents and $40 in cash.
Guerrero told KTLA she noticed the man before the incident.
“He looked very suspicious,” Guerrero said. “I just felt his presence. He didn’t look like he was there to do laundry.”
Authorities said the purse-snatcher had no laundry bags with him when he came in and sat down, observing the laundromat’s patrons.
“He just stalked his prey,” Norwalk Sheriff’s Station Detective Jose Lopez told KTLA.
The mother said she was walking her son to a nearby taco cart when the robber approached her.
“All of a sudden, he just pulls me from behind and starts pulling at my purse,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero said she struggled with him, but he overpowered her and took off with her purse.
Her son started crying as the man was pulling her purse from her, the mother said.
Guerrero said she was angry that her son witnessed the attack, and that she stopped herself from going after the thief.
“I wanted to run after him, but it would’ve been dangerous,” she said.
Detectives described the purse-snatcher as a male believed to be between 18 to 20 years old and standing at about 5 feet, 1 inch to 5 feet,4 inches tall.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department's Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711 or 562-466-5426. Detective Lopez can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No other details have been released.
KTLA's Nouran Salahieh contributed to this report.