Novato police seek armed robbery suspect who assaulted woman

Police are seeking witnesses or surveillance video that will lead to a suspect in an armed assault on a woman Saturday night in Novato.

The woman got out of her vehicle about 9:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Olive Avenue when the attacker grabbed her from behind, placed an object, possibly a knife, in her back and demanded money.

The man threatened and groped the woman while attempting to take her purse, which police said was slung across her body.

As they struggled, a passing vehicle startled the attacker, who fled when the woman screamed for help.

The man was last seen running westbound on Olive Avenue toward Fourth Street with the victim's purse.

The attacker is described as an adult male of unknown race, about 5-foot-9 to 6 feet tall and 200 to 240 pounds, wearing black clothing that included a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, black sweatpants and black leather gloves.

The woman was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

"We are requesting that anyone who has surveillance cameras in their home or residence near Fourth Street and Olive Avenue, to check your cameras to see if they captured any of the assault or the suspect's flight," Novato police said in an advisory. "As a result of this incident, we will be increasing our patrols in this area."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Detective Mike Puccetti at 415-897-1122 or by email at