San Bernardino Police Investigating Series of Robberies Inside, Outside Store
SAN BERNARDINO – Police are still investigating a recent attack on an older woman at a major department store in which an arrest has yet to be made.
Several other incidents, in which no arrests have been made at the same location, are still being investigated.
Police said that one victim of a recent assault was convinced by Walmart store managers at 4210 East Highland Ave. not to make a report, advising her that law enforcement would not arrive for several hours.
San Bernardino Police investigators said on Friday March 14 Linda Andrade reported an attempt to pull a gold chain from her neck by an assailant who was inside the store at around 5 p.m. The woman screamed for help but, reportedly, no one responded.
Store managers did not respond to the victim, Andrade, 68, and her request to contact police. Andrade, a San Bernardino resident, went home where she reported the attack to police.
In a store videotape, a young black man, estimated to be in his late teens or 20s, was seen walking up from behind Andrade, who was pushing a shopping cart. He reached for the gold chain from behind. When she responded, the two squared off face to face as Andrade screamed for help.
The suspect made another reach for the gold chain before exiting the aisle, failing to land the gold chain.
“At first, the suspect is not successful,” said Lt. Rich Lawhead, spokesman for San Bernardino Police, “so he again reaches and grabs again at the necklace, but the victim is successful in defending herself and her property.”
Lawhead said the suspect fled the store. No one else was seen in aisles on either side of the one in which the incident took place. The suspect, who was wearing a black short sleeve shirt, green shorts, white socks and black shoes, walked away from the attack which lasted about 10 seconds.
Police reported they are investigating several other robberies in the parking lot and areas near the store. The Walmart location, which is surrounded by other businesses, is located near an intersection of state highways, including one that leads into the nearby mountain resorts. Andrade suffered minor injuries, said police, including bruising. She got a good look at her attacker during the incident.
According to Walmart officials, the usual time it takes for police to respond on shoplifting calls is two to three hours. Officers told Andrade at her home that they would have arrived much quicker. A Walmart spokeswoman said that surveillance video will likely assist police to identify the attacker.