FREMONT — Police are looking for a man whom they say punched, kicked and dragged a 75-year-old woman earlier this week as he stole her purse and $1,000 in cash.

The woman, a Milpitas resident, suffered wounds to her face and body but is expected to fully recover, said Detective Bill Veteran, a spokesman for the Fremont Police Department.

The suspect, whose image was captured in a surveillance photo Monday afternoon at a Bank of America branch in the city's Warm Springs district, has been described as a Latino man about 18 to 20 years old.

He was seen last Monday afternoon inside a Wal-Mart store in Union City, where he tried to use the woman's credit card to purchase more than $500 in items, Veteran said. The suspect first bought $20 worth of items to test the card and then tried to the larger transaction. He left the store when that purchase was denied, Veteran said.

The robbery happened about 4:30 p.m. Monday but police did not disclose any information about it until Friday because authorities were following leads and collecting evidence such as surveillance videos from two businesses, Veteran said.

According to police, the elderly woman went to the Bank of America branch on Mission Boulevard in Warm Springs about 4 p.m. and withdrew $1,000 for an upcoming trip, the detective said.

She then drove to a relative's house on Pagosa Way, where she parked in the driveway.

"We believe that he followed her," Veteran said.

As the woman exited the car with her purse, the robber demanded her belongings and punched her repeatedly in the face, Veteran said.

The woman clung to the purse, and the man kicked her in the face and back, and ultimately dragged her into the street as he tried to flee, the spokesman said.

Eventually the purse straps broke and the robber fled with the purse in a dark-colored vehicle driven by another person, the detective said. That vehicle was last seen driving onto Scott Creek Road.

After further investigation, detectives learned that the assailant tried to use the woman's credit card at the Wal-Mart store.

Anyone with information about the case or the identity of the man in the video image is asked to call police at 510-790-6900.

Ben Aguirre Jr. covers Newark and Tri-City area crime. Reach him at 510-353-7011 or baguirre@bayareanewsgroup.com. Read his blog at www.ibabuzz.com/tricity- beat.