Mother with toddler in arms mugged outside The Gardens Mall in middle of the day

Police said purse snatcher on the run

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Mugged in broad daylight, a mother and her toddler are recovering on Friday night after Palm Beach Gardens Police said the two were robbed outside of Nordstrom at the Gardens Mall.

Witnesses said the theft happened in the parking lot. The mother was walking to her car according to bystanders, when a man knocked her to the ground all while she was carrying her child.

Police said the thief got away with her purse.

"I have chills and a pit in my stomach," said Shannon Chapman, who witnessed the robbery.

Chapman, holding her son Lars, had just walked out of the Nordstroms when she saw the mom and child victims hit the ground.

"What disturbs me the most about it is that it could have been me," said Chapman.

Police said the woman and toddler, whose identities have not been released, were both treated on the scene.

The purse snatcher was still on the run Friday night, according to police.

"I think she was targeted. She had a small child with her and she's easy prey and that's really the shame of it," said Chapman.

Administrators with the Gardens Mall did not comment on Friday.

A spokesperson for Nordstrom released a statement.

"We understand that this remains an open investigation and we will work with the City of Palm Beach (Gardens) Police Department to provide any assistance they may need," wrote Tara Darrow in an email.

After witnessing the attack, Chapman took to Facebook where she warned fellow mothers what she had just witnessed.

She said her post was not meant to scare, but to get the word out to others.

"It is a shame to lose anything and be robbed and feel violated. But at the end of the day, it is material item and your children are what's upmost important," said Chapman.

The extent of the injuries have not been released.

Palm Beach Gardens Police are set to released a full report on Monday.

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