Elderly woman mugged, attacked at local mall

Police: Suspect pushed woman down then stole her purse

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Security is on high alert alert at local mall after police said a man robbed and knocked down an elderly woman in the parking lot.

The attacker is still on the loose after the attack took place at the Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach as the woman had finished shopping. She was steps from the front door to the Macy's department store, when the man attacked.

According to a 911 call released by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, a Macy's employee called for help saying, "I have an elderly woman who says she was just knocked over and robbed in the parking lot. The man was on foot running behind the mall somewhere."

The employee tried to help the elderly woman who was quickly met by mall security, said the caller.

One night after the attack, shoppers were met with security guards carefully circling the mall for signs of trouble. But as shoppers leave stores, they know they could be a target for thieves, especially in parking lots at night.

Ryanne Thacker said she "keeps a close hold of my purse and usually have my phone out and just watch what's going on around me."

"It's hard when you're in a hurry when you're shopping at Christmas time, so everybody's easily distracted," said Eden Rhynehart, who just shopped at Macy's with her daughter not long before Wednesday night's attack. "We were there pretty late at night, but I noticed were was a patrol going around, so that was good. I'm shocked that that happened, considering there's patrol during the holidays."

However, catching the attacker may not be easy because the victim never got a good look before he ran off, said the caller in the 911, who went on to say it's "dark in the parking lot."

Local 6 found street lights out directly in front of the Macy's at the edge of the parking lot not far from where the attack happened.

Shoppers said they plan to park under bright lights, and watch their surroundings, from now on.

Police describe the suspect as 18-23 years old, 5'9", with a slim build, and was last seen wearing a dark jacket and dark pants.

Stay with Local 6 for updates on this story.

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