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Purse snatching attempt injures 80-year-old woman

An 80-year-old woman was injured Monday when a thief tried to snatch her purse in broad daylight, and police are still on the hunt for the attacker.

The strong-arm robbery attempt took place at about 10:45 a.m. in front of the Medford Lowe's, 3601 Crater Lake Highway, Medford police said. Grainy security camera photos show a woman hopping out of the passenger side of a gold-colored SUV as it pulled up close to the curb near the store entrance. Paper covered the vehicle's license plates.

The female suspect was described as being in her early 20s with a large build. She was wearing a white, hooded sweatshirt, yoga pants and sandals. She reportedly ran up to the 80-year-old woman, who was walking into the store, and grabbed her purse. The older woman fought the thief off but eventually fell to the ground, injuring her right knee and left hand. The attacker then jumped back into the SUV, which drove away.

"When it comes to purse snatches, it usually is in a crowded area," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. "We don't have a lot where it's actually trying to be taken from the person, like over her shoulder. That's obviously pretty disturbing."

No description of the SUV driver was available, police said.

Investigators warned people to keep an eye out for the vehicle in case the suspect makes another attempt. Anyone with information about the woman, the vehicle or any other details related to the case is asked to call Medford police at 541-770-4784.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.

Surveillance photo of purse-snatching suspect