SAN FERNANDO, Calif. (CBS/KCAL) Authorities are searching for a man suspected of robbing a nun in the parking lot of a grocery store in San Fernando, Calif., and the heist was caught on surveillance tape.
A pair of nuns in full religious dress were putting their groceries into their vehicle in the parking lot of a Food 4 Less store on Glen Oaks Boulevard, when police say a man in a white t-shirt approached them and asked a question.
The man asked where his sister can go to get food for her children.
Sister Mary Gabriel De Leon told him to go to any Catholic church for help.
But police say when she turned her back, the suspect snatched her purse from the grocery cart.
Parking lot surveillance video captured the suspect fleeing the scene and getting into a teal green minivan that was seen casing the parking lot earlier.
"If they are going to pick nuns, certainly they are not going to hold back victimizing anyone," said Detective Art Martinez of the San Fernando Police Department.
Dispatchers who took that 911 call were so affected by the story that they took up a collection in the police department and raised enough money to buy Sister Mary a new purse and scarf.
She wrote them a thank you note saying that she will pray to St. Michael, patron saint of police officers.