Thief attacks elderly blind woman on street


It happened July 24 in Little Tokyo on First Street between Los Angeles and San Pedro streets. The suspect approached the victim in public and violently snatched a gold chain from her neck.

Police are outraged that someone would attack a defenseless, nearly blind elderly woman with a walker.

"The creepiest thing about this is when you watch in the video, you can actually read the mind of the crook, the mugger himself," said Los Angeles Police Lt. Paul Vernon. "Because he's standing at the parking meter, and he eyes his victim, and he realizes this elderly woman pushing the cart. He probably doesn't realize that she's blind."

Police say the suspect appeared to wait for foot traffic to clear before he moved in and grabbed the victim around her throat.

The woman told police she had only been living downtown for about three weeks and now questions whether she made the right decision to move there.

"She had heard it's very safe, which it is. We have very little crime here in Little Tokyo, especially in the middle of the daylight. She's traumatized by it," said Vernon.

Police say security cameras located just outside of the stores on the block captured the suspect in the act.

"She has a little spunk in her, and you can see her turn and kind of fight him off," said Vernon. "She doesn't know what's coming at her. And then another witness came out of the business here and scared the guy off."

Vernon says the suspect was wearing a white shirt and a backward ball cap, carrying a backpack.

"She thought he was a teenager," said Vernon. "I would even hope that if his mother did see this, that she'd pick up the phone and call us. Because shame on somebody for going after a 68-year-old, retired woman here who's practically blind."

If you have information related to the incident, contact the LAPD Central Division at (213) 972-1251.

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