The suspect, 21-year-old Orlando Sanchez, allegedly approached the victim from behind on Center Street around 9 a.m. and grabbed her purse with enough force to break the strap and knock the woman to the ground, police said.
A witness to the robbery chased Sanchez from Center Street to East Market Street and North Hebbron Avenue, police said. A second witness called police and told them which way Sanchez was running.
At North Hebbron Avenue, Sanchez stopped to catch his breath and dropped the purse, and officers apprehended him.
Sanchez initially provided a false name, but officers learned his real name from an identification card in his wallet, police said.
He was booked into Monterey County jail on suspicion of robbery, elder abuse and providing false information to a police officer.
The victim was transported to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries and has since been released, police said.