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american canyon police car

American Canyon police say a man broke into an occupied car and stole the driver's purse while she was stopped at a traffic light on Friday.

The robbery occurred around 6:45 p.m. at the intersection of American Canyon Road and Silver Oak Trail, police say. A woman was alone in her Honda, waiting to turn into a residential neighborhood across the street from a Walgreens.

She heard a loud bang and realized her front passenger seat window was smashed, according to police. The man took her purse and fled in an unknown direction, police say.

American Canyon Police Chief Oscar Ortiz said this is the first time police have seen such a "smash and grab" robbery in the area. Similar cases have recently cropped up in other parts of the Bay Area, such as Antioch  and Concord.

The man would have been arrested on suspicion of committing a felony robbery had he been caught, Ortiz said.

The driver had just been shopping in Vallejo, Ortiz said. It's unclear if she was followed or if the robber found her at random, but Ortiz said drivers should be vigilant of their surroundings.

Police do not have any leads on the suspect, but say he was a black man around 30 to 40 years old, wearing a dark jacket and beanie hat. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call American Canyon Police at 707-551-0600.

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Public Safety Reporter

Courtney Teague is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She can be reached at 707-256-2221. You can follow her reporting on Twitter and Facebook, or send her anonymous tip at: