HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – Police are on the hunt for a couple accused of robbing a 53-year-old woman.

Elsa Riesgo told Hialeah police she was ambushed by a man at around 9:30 a.m. on October 3rd.

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“I was on the phone and felt a thumping in my back. I moved forward and the phone came flying out of my hand,” she said. “The gentleman proceeded to try to grab my pocketbook. He pulled on the wheelchair. He pulled on me.”

She told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench the robber violently pushed and pulled, almost tipping her wheelchair over, as her natural instincts told her to fight.

“I can’t say why but my natural instincts came over me,” she said. “He was grabbing my pocketbook and I thought he was going to push over my wheelchair. Right now I am left with some bruising. I have bruises on my arms, my side and my hips.”

CLICK HERE To Watch Peter D’Oench’s Report

“I was in a little shock. It was daylight. I didn’t think anything like this would happen,” said Riesgo.

Riesgo was waiting near her Northwest Miami-Dade home for a county van to pick her up and take her to her doctor’s appointment when the incident occurred outside her home in the area of East 2nd Ave. and 44th St.

“I think it’s awful. It may be a random thing. It’s a little difficult when you are in a wheelchair. There’s not very far you can go,” said Riesgo.

According to police, the man fled in a newer model red car with Riesgo’s driver license, medical card and two debit cards.

Riesgo’s friend, Colleen Rose-St. Prix, heard Riesgo’s screams for help and ran outside their home.

“He tried to push her out of her wheelchair,” she said. “She was petrified and she was angry that this could happen to her. I am appalled by this.”

Just 14 minutes after the strong-arm robbery, the man and his female accomplice were captured on a security camera using the victim’s debit card at an ATM machine inside Northside Supermarket at 7790 NW 32nd Ave. in Northwest Miami-Dade.

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The pair reportedly withdrew almost $1,000 from Riesgo’s account.

“I have no idea how that happened. He didn’t ask me for a pin. I had no time. They just took it and were able to withdraw money,” said Riesgo.

Riesgo said she was reimbursed by her debit card company.

“It’s sad. Anybody that preys on an innocent victim. It’s something we take personally. We will do anything we can to help her out,” said Hialeah police Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez.

“If you see them, how young they are,” he said. “It is sad that they are doing this type of crime.”

Riesgo said she had never been robbed before and now plans to be more careful.

Police said the white male suspect is 5’6″ to 5’9″ tall, with an average build and tan complexion. He is 20 to 25 years old with dark hair and was last seen wearing a grey shirt.

His accomplice is a white female, who is 5′ to 5’7″ tall, with long hair and is between her late teens and early 20’s.

“We need help from the public on this,” said Rodriguez. “We want to talk to these two subjects we are looking for.”

Anyone with information as to the identity of these two, are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-8477 (TIPS).


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Peter D'Oench