Columbia police are looking for the man who attacked an elderly shopper at the Aldi grocery store at 7610 Garners Ferry Road shortly before noon Tuesday.
According to a statement from the police department, the 72-year-old woman told authorities she was in the parking lot when a man sprayed pepper spray in her face and, unsuccessfully, tried to wrest her purse from her hands.
The unknown attacker may have been driving a tan, brown, or gold Chevy Malibu or Impala, police said.
A suspect who fled toward a similarly described car was caught on surveillance video at 12:30 p.m. trying, but failing, to snatch the purse from a woman sitting outside the Hobby Lobby on Forest Drive.
The suspect in both incidents is described as a black man, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, possibly weighing 180 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt and light colored pants.