Three people are in custody after allegedly running over a woman while trying to take her purse in Garden Grove, then leading law enforcement on a pursuit on Wednesday morning, police said.
The woman, a 32-year-old Westminster resident, suffered traumatic injuries and died hours after being taken to a hospital, Garden Grove police said in a news release.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's task force was surveilling a group of suspected of robbers when the purse snatching took place in the parking lot of a shopping center on Brookhurst Street near Westminster Avenue.
The woman was with family members when she was suddenly attacked around 9:45 a.m., according to Garden Grove Lt. Carl Whitney.
“The suspects got out of the vehicle, attacked the female, tried to take her purse," Whitney said. "During the struggle with the purse, she got run over by their vehicle."
Surveillance video of the incident shows a man dressed in black chasing the victim down, then throwing her down on the sidewalk outside a massage parlor and karaoke bar. The assailant, who appears to be wearing a mask, then drags the woman across the parking lot's pavement as he rips the bag from her arm.
The victim tries to retrieve her purse as the suspects get into a silver SUV, but the vehicle ends up running her over and dragging her at least 50 feet.
Her sister, who was parked nearby, saw the attack and tried to help, authorities said.
The men drove away from the scene and took off on the 22 Freeway, leading multiple law enforcement agencies on a pursuit, according to the lieutenant.
Police said the suspects tossed the purse from the vehicle during the pursuit.
The chase ended when the subjects got out of their vehicle near the 105 Freeway and Century Boulevard in South Los Angeles.
Three people were taken into custody, and a fourth was possibly outstanding, according to Whitney. He did not identify any of the individuals.
The woman was transported to a hospital with major injuries. She underwent surgery late in the morning, but later died of head trauma, officials said.
Authorities said the woman was at a bank before the attack, and that's likely where the suspects spotted her.
The suspects were taken back to Garden Grove to be questioned by detectives.
Police said the suspects were wanted for at least half a dozen robberies in Orange and Los Angeles counties.
No details were immediately released about the surveillance operation that preceded the attack.