The terrifying footage shows the robber entering the business, in the 1200 block of Main Street, shortly after 11 a.m. on Aug. 31, according to the Santa Ana Police Department. The suspect points a silver semiautomatic handgun at the woman, who was working alone at the time.
"She reached for the gun several times," said police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. "Obviously that's not something we would recommend you do because the chances of getting shot are escalated."
In the footage, the employee then gets her purse and gives her cash to the robber. He lunges for the woman's purse and she grabs it away from him. The man then hits her on the head with the weapon and flees.
The victim's cash was the only money in the office, according to investigators. She had important papers in her purse and did not want to lose them, her friend said.
"She feels better but she's still scared," said the employee's friend, who declined to be publicly identified. "She doesn't feel good to talk to anybody or to go out."
Police said the suspect may be responsible for five similar crimes in the city.
Anyone with information about the holdup is asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6227.