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Would-be thief assaults clerk

A woman who was caught stealing clothing items from a Hatch Road store ended up slugging a clerk 12 times in the face after she was confronted about the theft outside the store on Monday afternoon, April 20.

Police are hoping the public knows something about the incident and reports it to detectives.

The crime at Craze Fashion, 1520 Hatch Road, is classified as a strong armed robbery since the clerk was assaulted.

After 12 noon the suspect, described as being in her mid-20s, blonde haired, blue eyed, standing 5-foot-4, and weighing approximately 200 pounds walked into the store and picked up clothing items before heading to the dressing room. She told the clerk, a 34-year Atwater woman, that she was leaving quickly due to an emergency. The clerk was suspicious that a theft was taking place and checked the dressing room and found security sensors on the ground.

The clerk followed the theft suspect out the door and confronted her and stopped her in front of Bamboo Garden restaurant, asking her to open the purse. A fight ensued when the clerk saw the clothing items inside the purse. The clerk yanked the purse from the suspect, who took off eastbound on Hatch Road, and called police at 12:06 p.m.

Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jose Berber said a bank card was inside the purse but are not sure if that's the name of the actual suspect.