Stephen Ellison

Suspect in Concord Purse Snatching That Injured Elderly Woman is Charged

A man accused of injuring a 93-year-old woman during a robbery in Concord earlier this month has been charged with two counts of second-degree robbery and elder abuse with great bodily injury, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Concord police responded to a report of two women robbed in the 1000 block of Sunvalley Boulevard around 4 p.m. on May 18 and found a 64-year-old woman and a 93-year-old woman at the scene.

ConcordPD/Pederson family
Otto Halafihi is taken into custody in the robbery of Ann Pederson.

The older victim had been knocked to the ground when her purse was stolen and had to be transported to a hospital.

Otto Halafihi, 29, turned himself in to law enforcement in Stanislaus County last Wednesday after Concord police circulated images from security footage in the area of the robbery.

Halafihi was arraigned on three felony charges stemming from that case this morning, but Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office spokesman Scott Alonso could not immediately provide an update on whether a plea was entered in his case.

When asked why he committed the purse snatching in Concord that injured a 93-year-old woman, initially, Otto Halafihi says he was hungry and thirsty and needed gas. "I'm very sorry; I wish I could rewind back the days," Halafihi said from jail. "I don't know why I did it, I just wasn't in my right mind state."

A day after he turned himself in, Halafihi was arrested by Fremont police on suspicion of robbing a Lowe's Home Improvement store at 43612 Pacific Commons Blvd. around 8:40 p.m. on May 9.

Investigators said he walked up to a register, lifted his shirt and took out a handgun, then threatened to shoot employees unless they backed away.

He had been carrying two items, and police said he picked them up and left the store before fleeing the area in a white four-door sedan.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether Halafihi has been charged in that crime.

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