Violent robbery caught on tape: Man punches Chinatown worker, steals $5,000 in merchandise, cash

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Hand in hand two women shop at Dynasty Center in Chinatown's swap meet district on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Two women shop at a Chinatown swap meet in downtown Los Angeles. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

A man was captured on video Thursday punching a female employee in the face at a Chinatown boutique before stealing about $5,000 worth of merchandise and cash.

The assault occurred about 12 p.m. at Angies Boutique in the 800 block of North Broadway, according to 35-year-old store owner John Nguyen.

Surveillance video shows a man getting into a physical struggle with a female employee, who Nguyen said was in her 60s. The man can be seen knocking the woman to the ground before reaching over the counter and taking merchandise.

The woman tried to stop the man and was punched in the face, sustaining a fractured cheekbone, Nguyen said. She received several stitches and remained in the hospital Friday. She'll probably need a week or two off from work to recover and plans to come back to the boutique.

Nguyen said the man also came to the store on Wednesday, probably to scope out what he wanted to steal.

"He came and asked about those two exact items," Nguyen said. "He tucked one in his arm and tried to walk away but I pulled it back away from him."

Los Angeles police received a call about a robbery at the store about noon, according to LAPD Officer J. Chavez. He said two suspects were involved.

The victim was hit in the head by one of the assailants and sustained an injury to her left eye, Chavez said.

The assailants stole merchandise and cash from the store, Chavez said. They were last seen fleeing on foot. No other information was available about them.

This was the first time his store has been robbed, Nguyen said.

"It makes you sad that this is what this city has become because of the politicians and the district attorney that are allowing this to happen," he said.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.