SAN GABRIEL (CBSLA) — Police Monday released surveillance video showing a man steal a woman's purse at a San Gabriel Grocery store, knocking her to the ground.
"So many people around," one witness said of the brazen attack. "All the video cameras on."
According to the San Gabriel Police Department, three suspects robbed the Asian woman inside of the 99 Ranch Market, 140 West Valley Boulevard, in San Gabriel Square Saturday at about 8:41 p.m.
"The lady got hurt right here, scratches," the witness said, pointing to his head. "I saw a little bit of bleeding."
While they were fleeing the scene, police said they robbed another Asian woman in the parking lot of the store. The women, both in their 40s, had their purses stolen.
"On the way back to their car, they robbed that lady also," the witness said. "The girl (with her mom) was frightened."
The suspects were described as three African American men in their 20s. Police said they believed the crimes to be strong-armed robberies with no weapons used.
A motive was not immediately known, though authorities said they believed the robberies to be isolated incidents based on preliminary information.
The witness said he thinks the trio targeted the shopping center, which has mostly Asian-owned businesses and Asian customers, looking for women carrying designer crossbody bags. He said he saw the men walking up and down the aisles before hand, seemingly casing the store.
"They were just wandering around," he said.
The witness said the violent crimes were a shock to the local Asian community and urged shoppers to speak up if they see something suspicious and to be aware of their surroundings.
Anyone with additional information was asked to call the San Gabriel Police Department Detective Bureau at 626-308-2835.
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