74-year-old woman lucky to be alive after Oakland armed robbery, wants jade Buddha back

A 74-year-old woman said she was the victim of a brazen armed robbery that happened in broad daylight in Oakland.

Hue Mcilhattan said she's lucky to be alive, adding that she was careful and aware of her surrounding but the thieves appeared suddenly.

The crime was caught on camera.

Surveillance video showed a black SUV pulling up to the corner of the street and backing up.  

Mcilhattan walked along the sidewalk on East 12th Street on April 28 shortly after 2 p.m. 

Shortly after, just as she stepped off the curb between two cars, a man ran up behind her, held a gun to her head and tried to grab her purse from her shoulder.

"Oh my God, the gun on my head already. Then I said to myself, I'm a dead duck," Mcilhattan said.  

The video showed a second man joining him and taking Mcilhattan's purse. There was a struggle. The first man appeared to grab something from Mcilhattan and handed it over to the second man.

"They pulled it so hard. I heard the pop and I know the necklace is broken," said Mcilhattan.

She said one man pushed her, causing her to fall. The black SUV pulled up. Both thieves ran into the waiting vehicle and it took off.

Mcilhattan said she had just left a jewelry store. 

Her husband, Bill, was waiting in their car parked across the street.

"I saw her fighting them she called my name," said Bill,"So I started the car and put it into ramming gear. I was going to go over there and slam into them and they were gone." 

Mcilhattan pointed to the bruise on her knee and said: "See right here. Thank God, he didn't kill me."  

She said in her purse were keys, cash, jewelry, ID and bank cards. 

But the item she cherished most is a jade Buddha, a good luck charm she's worn for decades since 1994. 

The thieves yanked it from her neck.

"It was custom-made. I really want to get back my jewelry," Mcilhattan said. "He could shoot me. He could hit me.  He could do a lot.  But my god, my Buddha helped me until now.  I want him back."

She immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in 1973 with her husband, who served in the U.S. Army.

Mcilhattan refuses to give up hope that she'll get her pendant back.

"I worked hard for it. I worked for 30 years for this country," said Mcilhattan.

Anyone who sees the pendant or any information should contact Oakland Police. 

The couple said they couldn't get a good look at the two men. They wore face coverings and gloves.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on facebook @AmberKTVU,  instagram @AmberKTVU  or twitter @AmberKTVU