WESTMINSTER, Calif. – An elderly woman taking a Christmas morning stroll in Westminster thwarted an attempted robbery of her purse by squirting the armed perpetrator with pepper spray, authorities said Monday.
“Luckily, the suspect did not shoot the victim and instead fled the scene on his bicycle,” said Sgt. Alan Aoki of the Westminster Police Department.
The woman was walking in the area of Bushard Street and England Avenue early Sunday when the suspect rode up, pulled out a handgun, and demanded her purse, Aoki said.
“Not wanting to relinquish her purse, especially on Christmas, the victim took out her pepper spray and used it on the suspect,” he said.
Officers dispatched to the scene were unable to locate the suspect. He was described as a 5-foot-9-inch tall man in his 30s with a slim build, chiseled face, and a pointy nose. He was last seen wearing a black beanie, a black jacket with lettering, black pants, and a backpack, and riding a teal-colored bicycle.
Westminster police urged anyone with information about the attempted robbery to call them at 714-548-3767, or the department’s detective bureau at 714-548-3773.