Thieves Distract Restaurant Worker in Oakdale, Snatch Her Purse

OAKDALE -- A brazen robbery has left the owners of the Hunan Villa Chinese restaurant a little shaken and about $2,500 light. But the incident was all caught on surveillance video, so Oakdale Police are hopeful someone will recognize the suspects.

That surveillance video is also being shared on Facebook. Sharon Nardello posted it on Thursday after the owners of the restaurant asked her for help.

"I posted it and hopefully we can capture these ladies," said Nardello.

All three suspects are female. The video shows two of the women distract the lone employee while the third goes behind the counter and steals the employee's purse.

"It was blatant," recalled Nardello. "I mean, they distracted her, and that one lady went back behind the counter, and she stole that purse, and she stuffed it in her's, and then it was time to go."

The entire ruse lasted only about 5 minutes, but it was long enough to put a dent in the owner's wallet.

"She took my wife's wallet, credit cards, her bag ... everything," said Jeff Li, who was cooking in the kitchen and didn't see what was going on in the front of the store.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery is urged to call the Oakdale Police Department.