A woman leaving The Mall in Columbia with her two children at noon Wednesday was robbed by a teen-ager who asked her for a quarter and then demanded her purse, Howard County police said.
The victim, a 45-year-old woman from Ellicott City, and the children were not injured.
The woman told police that a youth approached her about 12:15 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the mall in the 10300 block of Little Patuxent Parkway and asked for a quarter.
The woman told him she did not have a quarter and continued walking to her car. He followed her, and as she put her children into the car, he demanded her purse.
Police said the woman gave him her backpack, a camera and jewelry. The youth took the items and ran away. The woman got into her car and drove to her home to report the crime.
The robber was described as a slim 5-feet-10-inch tall black male, age 17 or 18. He wore a green hooded windbreaker, brown pants and dark high-top tennis shoes, police said.