A Southern California woman is speaking for the first time after she was violently dragged by purse snatchers outside of a Costco parking lot.
The victim, identified only as a 37-year-old woman, was targeted on Sunday night at a Costco in the City of Industry, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The woman and two friends were loading items into her car when an SUV suddenly pulled up. A suspect jumped out and attempted to grab her purse.
She refused to let go of her bag so the thief started punching her. She was then dragged about 50 yards through the parking lot and onto Hanover Road where she fell off, authorities said.
She was transported to Pomona Valley Hospital in critical condition with head trauma but survived. She is now hoping the thieves will be caught soon before someone else is targeted.
“I hope there is a witness,” the victim said from her hospital bed.
The violent altercation left the woman with a facial fracture, abrasions and a laceration to her scalp.
The victim’s friend, Donald Ward, has been helping her during this difficult time, including canceling her stolen credit cards and arranging for her car to be towed. He’s been staying in contact with LASD for any updates they may have on the case.
Shoppers at the City of Industry Costco said news of the violent robbery is worrisome as the busy plaza houses two popular grocery stores.
While authorities have not released surveillance video from the attack, they told KTLA they are searching for two suspects seen leaving in a dark-colored Infiniti QX60 SUV.
The suspects may have also broken into another vehicle in the same parking lot, deputies said.
Although the victim has a long road to recovery ahead of her, Ward said he’s very thankful she wasn’t killed. He’s hoping her story will remind people to be alert when doing errands and walking to their vehicle.
“Be aware of your surroundings,” Ward advises. “[The victim] was with two other friends and that still didn’t help so just be watching, unfortunately, for bad people who want to take advantage of you.”
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the LASD’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322.