April 12, 2024
The woman was at the ATM when the suspect came up behind her and grabbed her purse, a sergeant says.

Investigators are looking for the man who grabbed a 75-year-old woman’s purse Monday, Aug. 14, then dragged her through a Hacienda Heights parking lot as two good Samaritans chased him until he yanked the purse from her and he fled.

The victim, a Hacienda Heights resident, was treated at the scene by firefighters for abrasions to her shoulders, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Fitch said.

Deputies have not recovered the victim’s purse, which contained a wallet, an unknown amount of cash and a cellphone.

The robbery happened outside the Bank of America at 1605 South Azusa Ave. at 11:18 a.m. in a shopping center that includes an Asian supermarket and several restaurants.

This is scary folks. A robbery yesterday at the B of A parking lot on Azusa Ave in Hacienda Heights, interrupted by good samaritans! Hey @HildaSolis,@SupJaniceHahn and all the social justice warriors, how’s that “reimagining” working out?#VictimsMatter pic.twitter.com/HSFaA0CGDh

— Alex Villanueva (@AlexVilanueva33) August 15, 2023

The woman was at the ATM when the suspect came up behind her and grabbed her purse, Fitch said.

“He starts dragging her, eventually he got the purse off her,” the sergeant said.

The robbery was captured on video shared on social media.

The video shows the suspect dragging the victim who hangs onto the purse strap. She loses her shoes and he yanks off the purse. Two people run after the suspect, then stop. The victim gets back on her feet.

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One of the good Samaritans was waiting in line at the ATM before the robbery, the sergeant said.

“He heard her yell for help,” Fitch added.

Someone with one of the good Samaritans took the video.

Among those who shared the video online was former Sheriff Alex Villanueva who posted it on X, formerly called Twitter.

John Ford, president of the Hacienda Heights Improvement Association and HHIA board member Andrea Gordon have also seen the video. Each received a copy from someone.

“I was shocked. This guy was just dragging her like a rag doll,” he said.

Ford said it hurt to see this happen.

He grew up in Hacienda Heights, attended local schools and still lives in the community with his family. They didn’t hear about break-ins then, he said.

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His neighborhood has seen one or two burglaries since 2017. But there’s been an increase this year, according to Ford.

“One of our neighbors got tied up,” he said.

Hacienda Heights isn’t the only community affected.

“Everyone is getting some problems,” Ford said.

Ford and Gordon agree the community’s perception is that crime is increasing.

“I think people are starting to get fed up,” Gordon said. People complain about crime and talk about being afraid, she added.

Crime is not just increasing but the level of boldness is also on the rise, according to Gordon.

It’s important for people to know how to make themselves safe, she said.

“I think there needs to be more effort to prosecute these crimes whether felony or misdemeanor,” Ford said. Criminals think they can get off the hook or get a slap on the wrist, he added.

“Enough is enough,” Ford said.

Detectives were looking for more videos to see if there was a getaway car or an accomplice and are also checking reports for any similar crime.

Authorities asked that anyone with information about the robbery to call deputies at 626-330-3322.

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