SAN LEANDRO -- A teenage girl suspected of stealing a purse from an elderly woman on Monday and then kicking her in the head several times was arrested shortly after the incident because the victim was so quick and specific with her emergency call, police said.

Two teenage boys also were arrested in the strong-arm robbery, which happened around noon in the parking lot of the Bayfair Mall, San Leandro police Lt. Randall Brandt said.

The victim, a woman in her 60s, was treated at the hospital for her injuries and released. Without her quick thinking, the three juvenile suspects likely would not have been arrested, Brandt said.

"If she hadn't called right away, and she hadn't made such good observations about the girl who attacked her, there's no arrest here," Brandt said. "We have lots of officers out on the streets patrolling because of the holiday period, and her information really made it possible for them to have a chance to catch these three."

The 15-year-old girl suspected of beating the woman walked up from behind and tried to grab her purse, Brandt said. The older woman tried to stop her, only to be punched several times. She fell to the ground and was kicked in the head several more times, Brandt said.

It was most likely a natural reaction by the older woman to hold onto her purse, Brandt said.

"Think about it. If I come up and grab something off you, your first inclination is to pull that item back," he said. "She did what any normal person would probably do."

The teen eventually stopped kicking, took the purse and escaped into a waiting vehicle, Brandt said. Within three minutes of the emergency call, police spotted the getaway car and followed it into East Oakland, where the three abandoned it.

Officers converging in the area found the three teens in the 9000 block of International Boulevard and arrested them, Brandt said. Police also discovered that the car in which they were driving had been stolen out of San Leandro on Sunday, he said.

Police did not reveal the ages of the two boys, but Brandt said they were around 15 or 16. All three are from Oakland and were taken to Alameda County Juvenile Hall.

Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.