Police are searching for a man caught on video ripping jewelry off a 72-year-old woman's wrist while she was out for a walk in San Jose.
The crime reported Monday is the latest in what police are calling a growing trend of jewelry street robberies.
"It was like she had seen a ghost or something," the woman's son-in-law Suresh Parsuram said of the victim returning home after the attack.
The suspect stripped two bangles from the victim on the 4900 block of Miramar Avenue, near Stevens Creek Boulevard and the Cupertino border, and ran to a nearby car and drove off.
Police said the woman suffered scratches, bruising and swelling to both wrists in the attack.
"She still has some swelling on her wrists when the bangles were being taken off," the victim's daughter Arathi Parsuram said.
San Jose Police Officer Steve Aponte said robberies involving purse snatchings, chain snatchings, jewelry stealing are a growing trend in the city and a crime of opportunity.
"This is all person to person. Strong arm crimes that these crooks are specifically targeting people who are smaller, perhaps elderly and less able to put up a fight," Aponte said.
Police said investigating officers were able to get surveillance images that captured the suspect committing the robbery. He is described as a male in his late teens or early 20s, standing 5 feet and 5 inches to 5 feet and 8 inches tall, with a stocky or muscular build. The suspect also has short brown hair and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, light blue jeans, and white and black sneakers, police said.
The suspect vehicle is a newer, dark-colored BMW sedan, according to police.
The victim's family said the woman does not wear jewelry while walking anymore and she no longer walks alone.
"We think we live in a safe area," Arathi Parsuram said. "We pay a lot of money to live in this area for the schools. You just don't think this can happen to a vulnerable population."
The family adds it was important the woman kept her daily routine after the attack.
"If she stayed home that means he won," Arathi Parsuram said. "So the next day she didn't go out. But we are encouraging her to go with somebody."
Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the crime and are urging people to be on guard at all times, especially if alone.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Reinke #4404 or Detective Santistevan #4376 of the San José Police Department Robbery Unit at (408) 277-4166.
Persons wishing to remain anonymous may either call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line, (408) 947-STOP (7867), or click the "Submit a Tip" link below. Persons providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect may be eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers.