British Columbia

Police denounce 'despicable' purse snatching that left elderly West Van woman with broken shoulder

An 86-year-old woman's shoulder was broken during what police are describing as a "despicable" purse-snatching in West Vancouver on News Year's Day.

Investigators don't have a suspect description after Wednesday's robbery

The elderly victim of a purse snatching in West Vancouver on New Year's Day didn't get a look at her attacker. (

An 86-year-old woman's shoulder was broken during what police are describing as a "despicable" purse snatching in West Vancouver on News Year's Day.

The victim was attacked after leaving the Loblaws at Park Royal Mall on foot at around 5:10 p.m. on Wednesday, according to West Vancouver police.

She was just turning north up 11th Street from Marine Drive when a stranger came up behind her, grabbed her purse from her shoulder and pushed her to the ground, police say. The suspect took off with the purse and the woman flagged down a passerby, who stayed with her until emergency services arrived.

"This is a very unfortunate incident and a rare occurrence in West Vancouver," Const. Kevin Goodmurphy said in a news release.

"To assault a senior like this is despicable. Rest assured that we are working diligently to identify a suspect."

The victim was taken to hospital, where she learned her shoulder had been fractured.

Meanwhile, police say they've done extensive searches of the area but were not able to turn up a suspect. Because she was robbed from behind, the victim has been unable to describe the purse snatcher.

Police say the victim's cream-coloured purse contained a wallet holding a bank card and a credit card.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call police at 604-925-7300 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


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