PALM DESERT -

A man reached into a woman's shopping cart in the parking lot of a Vons Shopping Center in Palm Desert and snatched her purse before running away according to police.

The man approached the woman as she exited the grocery store in the 72600 block of Highway 111 and reached into her shopping cart, grabbing her purse, police said. She tried to stop the suspect and a short struggle began.

The woman eventually fell to the ground and the robber fled eastbound through the parking lot, said Palm Desert police Sgt. Juan Zamora. Police were dispatched to the scene at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, he said.

The suspect was described as white, 6 feet 3, in his mid-20s, with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt.

Palm Desert police urged anyone with any information regarding the strong-arm robbery to call detectives at (760) 836-1600.