Blind Woman Robbed in Little Tokyo; Crime Caught on Video

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The victim can be seen struggling with her attacker in this screenshot from the video.

LAPD detectives have released video of a daylight robbery in Little Tokyo, in which a man chokes an elderly blind woman to steal her gold chain and jade pendant.

“This is shocking to watch, especially when you consider this woman is legally blind,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Central Detective Division. “When you watch the video you can actually read the crook’s mind as he sizes up his victim and waits for witnesses to walk by.”

The robbery occurred on First Street between Los Angeles Street and San Pedro Street on July 24. In the video, the woman — who just recently moved to Little Tokyo — is pushing her walker down the sidewalk around noon, when a short Hispanic man sneaks up behind the 68-year-old retiree.  The crook grabs her around the throat and chokes her as she struggles to understand what is happening to her.

“She fights back, but the suspect gets her gold chain and jade pendant, worth about $100,” Vernon explained. “If this video doesn’t make you angry, little will.”

A man in a nearby business comes to the victim’s rescue and the suspect runs away. Detectives are combing through other video to see if the suspect’s image is captured later.

“Street robberies are uncommon in the Little Tokyo area, so this one really stands out,” Vernon said. “And this suspect really needs to go to jail.”

The mugger was wearing a white shirt, a small backpack, and a baseball cap turned backwards.

Merchants on the block told the Rafu Shimpo that the same perpetrator is suspected in a similar attack nearby, also involving an elderly victim, about two months ago.

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call the Central Detective Division at (213) 972-1251. Anonymous tips can be given to Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (CRIMES) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org. Click on “Webtips” and follow the prompts.

See the video at http://www.lapdonline.org/newsroom/news_view/48606.

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