Coworkers foil theft attempt in Yuba City

Jake Abbott, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.
·3 min read

Feb. 24—An unidentified man attempted to steal a purse from an employee of a certified public accountant's office near Hunn Road in Yuba City last week in the middle of the day, but was foiled when the bag's owner and a fellow coworker chased him out of the building and prevented him from getting away unnoticed.

Luckily, Yvette Guest made it out of the situation with her bag and no injuries, but she hopes other local residents can learn from her experience like she did.

"I think it would be good to alert the community about this man and his vehicle, to be on the lookout because he is willing to steal," Guest said. "I just don't want this to happen to other people. I'm a trusting person who wouldn't think that someone is walking into businesses that normally don't have cash and stuff like that looking to steal."

Around 2 p.m. on Feb. 18, Guest had stepped away from her desk at the front of the building to speak with a coworker when she heard someone enter the building. She returned to the reception counter that stands about four-feet high and found a man had jumped over it and was holding her purse. As he attempted to flee, she chased after him yelling that he had taken her possessions.

Outside, the man got into a gold/tan-colored Ford Explorer parked to the side of the building. Guest wrestled with the vehicle door as the man attempted to shut it, while continuing to scream in order to get other people's attention. A female coworker also came to help Guest try and pull the door open.

"He had my purse on his lap, and I don't think he was able to turn the vehicle on because our tugging kept him occupied," Guest said. "We were yelling 'give me back my purse,' but he wasn't saying anything, he was just trying to close the door. As more people started coming out of their offices, he eventually said 'here' and gave me back my bag. He almost hit a lady while trying to leave, too."

During the incident — what Guest said seemed to last about 10 minutes in total — a man working in an office next door to Guest's snapped a picture of the man in the vehicle as he was attempting to leave. Guest described him as a black man about 5'11 to 6-foot tall, about 220 pounds. Witnesses didn't get a good look at his face as he was wearing a COVID-19 mask. He didn't appear to be armed.

"It wasn't someone who was threatening. He looked very clean and seemed to have nice clothing. He was wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and boots," she said.

Guest reported the incident to the Sutter County Sheriff's Office. The photographs taken during the incident weren't enough to immediately identify the suspect, and the vehicle he was driving appeared to have a temporary dealer plate that is difficult to decipher.

"Anyone with information should contact the Sutter County Sheriff's Office," said Lt. Rav Mann, with the sheriff's office. "There's no information about him being armed but the public shouldn't approach him, rather they should contact the sheriff's office and provide the information."

To contact the Sutter County Sheriff's Office, call 822-7307.