A California man was testing the new camera he received on Christmas Day when a robber snatched the camera, jumped into his car. The victim tried to hold onto the car in an attempt to get the camera back and suffered a major head injury in the incident.
NBC4 Palm Springs reports that 29-year-old Robbie Valenzuela was testing his new $1,200 Canon camera at around 9 AM in the Southern California city of Hemet when the robbery occurred.
“So Robbie went up and he (the suspect) asked if he could take some photos and videos of his recording studio, and Robbie was saying, yeah, and started showing him some of the photos he was taking,” Robbie’s brother Chris tells NBC4. “And that’s when the guy grabbed his camera.”
“The victim was approached by a light-complexioned black male adult in a black 2000-2007 Ford Taurus Sedan about a camera the victim had on his person,” the Hemet Police Department writes. “The suspect grabbed the camera from the victim then fled at a high rate of speed in the suspect vehicle.
“Officers arrived on scene and located the victim in the 600 block of E. Acacia Ave. The victim attempted to hold on to the suspect vehicle and was dragged for several blocks. The victim sustained a serious head injury.”
Valenzuela was rushed to an area hospital in critical condition, but he has since been upgraded to stable condition. There’s a chance Valenzuela received serious long-term injuries from the robbery.
“I don’t know if he’s going to be able to walk,” Chris tells NBC4. “I don’t know if he’s going to be able to see. I don’t know how we’re going to get through this as a family right now. This is hard.”
Authorities say the Ford Taurus has “distinct wheels,” an aftermarket chrome emblem on the front fender, and possibly damage near the driver’s side headlight. They’re asking the public for help in bringing the camera robber to justice. Anyone with info can call the police department (951-765-2400) or the We Tip Hotline (866-640-8477).
As this scary incident shows, always be alert and careful when using pricey camera equipment in public. And as law enforcement always warns, protect yourself by leaving the job of catching robbers and recovering stolen items to the police.