MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA) — A 75-year-old woman is recovering Thursday night after she says a man punched her and grabbed her necklace Wednesday morning.

CBS2’s Nicole Comstock spoke to the victim and her daughter in a story that is Only On 2.

“She doesn’t consider herself like, a little old lady. We don’t see her like that either,” said Elva Balladares, the victim’s daughter.

A thief, however, treated her mother like an easy target.

The victim, Elva Palomares, said she was walking to her car after shopping at the Cardenas market.

The man followed her and she waved him off  thinking he wanted her change.

Instead, he wanted her gold.

She says the man punched her in the neck and then snatched her necklace — a gold chain with a clover and a pearl.  It belonged to her mother. He then knocked her to the ground.

Palomares said she’s been wearing it around her neck for 20 years.

“My shoulder, my arm,” she says they still hurt.

Her daughter can’t believe the man was so violent for such a modest piece of jewelry.

“How much is he gonna get for it, you know? $50?” said Balladares.

She’s just glad her mother wasn’t hurt worse.

“To you that was possibly worth someone’s life? What if she fell on the ground and knocked her head,” Balladares said.

The Moreno Valley Police said they searched for the suspect but were unable to find him.

Palomares said she’s seen him before — standing in front of the store using his cellphone. She said it has a black folding wallet-type case.

Linda Gregory works in the shopping center and is upset the man assaulted the victim.

“You coulda just keep begging instead of assaulting a lady.” Gregory said.

Gregory works at the Alpha Christian Boutique.

She says she”l have to be more cautious.

“Now, I’m gonna have to quit being nice and watch the people that come in this store, you know?,” Gregory said.

For her part, Palmomares said she isn’t concerned for her own well-being. She came forward to make sure the suspect can’t hurt another woman who might be more frail.

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