A woman dining out with her family at a restaurant on Mason Road near Interstate 10 in Katy said she became a crime victim in just seconds.
According to the family, a man grabbed the woman's purse, which was on the chair behind her, and took off through an emergency exit door. There was a getaway car waiting by the side of building for him.
"People need to know this is happening," said Maritza Troche, the victim's mother. She saw the whole thing happen. Her family also noticed the man sitting in a nearby booth.
"He was just sitting there talking on a cell phone," said Meredith Troche, whose purse was behind her. She said in just seconds he took off with her purse, her license, credit cards and sense of security.
"It was immediate. I felt it go," she said.
The two women said the thief hopped into a gray Ford Expedition with black rims and was gone. they believe the man targeted them because they were with a lot of people and they were distracted.
"We were his best target," Maritza Troche said. "People need to know, even in a restaurant, how bold he was."
The victim said within 20 minutes of having her purse stolen, the thief rang up $647 in fraudulent charges. Troche is very shaken by the incident because the crooks now have her name and they know where she lives.
Troche says she wants other women to be careful when dining out.
Troche said, "Be aware of your surroundings."