An 85-year-old woman was shoved to the ground by a purse snatcher in Abbotsford on Sunday.
The senior wasn't badly hurt but was rattled by the attack, which occurred on Eagle Street after she had withdrawn money at a bank on South Fraser Way at 12:45 p.m., said Const. Ian MacDonald.
"She wasn't injured but very shaken," said MacDonald, adding the robber's disregard for the woman's safety was appalling.
"There's no way this individual wouldn't have known she'd tumble to the ground, and he wasn't concerned about her well-being regardless of her age."
Investigators are exploring whether the suspect or suspects saw the victim while she was at the TD Canada Trust located in the 32800 block of South Fraser Way, then followed her until she got out of her car, said MacDonald.
"We can't rule out the possibility that the suspect and an accomplice scoped out her activities, followed her and looked for an opportunity to grab her purse," he said.
"Otherwise, it was a brazen and high risk robbery if you don't know what you were getting."
Residents in an adjacent apartment complex heard the victim's screams for help, ran to assist her and called police, he said.
A police dog searched for the suspect but he wasn't located.
The purse snatcher is described as a Caucasian man 18 to 20 years old.
He was clean-shaven, five feet eight inches tall and wearing a black hoodie and possibly a dark baseball cap.
At least one witness observed a person matching the suspect's description heading toward the area of Mill Lake and the Bourquin Bus Exchange.
Although the victim did nothing wrong, police are recommending people take along a friend or family member to the bank rather than go alone, said MacDonald.
Given the repulsive nature of the crime, it wouldn't be surprising if a friend or acquaintance of the suspect called police, he added.
"With certain crimes that cross that threshold . . . we'll commonly get calls," he said.
"Everybody has a mother or a grandmother."
Anyone with information about the incident or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Abbotsford Police at 604-859-5225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.