HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police officers are trying to track down a purse snatcher who viciously attacked a woman in the parking lot outside Don Quijote this weekend.
Police sources say the 55-year-old was grabbed from behind by the neck and jerked to the ground. The suspect punched her in the face until she let go of her bag.
The incident happened just before noon Sunday at the Kaheka Street location, and is the latest in a string of violent purse snatchings on Oahu that has many residents on edge.
More criminals seem unafraid ― striking in the middle of the day ― in front of plenty of witnesses.
“You have to watch everything and everybody,” said Jorma, who asked that her last name be withheld.
"This mentality is completely out of control. People are losing it every which way.”
In the latest attack, witnesses say the suspect was wearing all black. After he got the woman’s bag, he jumped into the back of a getaway car waiting nearby.
Police figures show robberies on Oahu have spiked more than 10% over the past year.
Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2018 there were 737 robberies. That’s compared to 862 robberies over the same time period in 2019.
The crime in the neighborhood is the main reason Joann Nishida and her co-worker Marissa Kato starting walking to lunch together.
“We work in this building right here. And we see a lot of stuff going on,” said Nishida. “You have to be very aware of your surroundings.”
“One day we were coming for lunch, the first Hawaiian Bank was robbed,” Kato said.
A manager at the Don Quijote confirms there is surveillance video of Sunday’s incident and that it’s being turned over to detectives.
If you have any information about the case, you’re asked to call Honolulu police.