The robbery occurred around 1:30 p.m. last Friday after the suspect followed the woman on foot in the 400 block of Kearney Street, according to police.
Police said the suspect approached, grabbed the woman's purse from her shoulder and began to flee on foot.
The woman then pulled out a pot she had just purchased and used it to strike the man in the upper body in an attempt to get her purse back, but the suspect wrenched the bag away and fled, according to police.
Surveillance cameras from a nearby business captured images of the suspect, and police are asking the public to help identify him.
Anyone who is able to identify the suspect is asked to call El Cerrito police at (510) 215-4414 ext. 40. Callers may remain anonymous.