HOUSTON -- Two bold crimes in just about a week in the Sugar Land area have shoppers on edge. Police said this is the time of year when they typically see a spike in crimes of opportunity.

The most recent happened Monday night outside the Target in the 16300 block of the Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land. A woman and her 76-year-old mother were ambushed there last night just before 9 p.m.

They were pepper sprayed, and police said the elderly mother was punched in the stomach for her purse. Police are now on the lookout for two female robbers and a man who was sitting in the getaway vehicle.

Just about a week ago, a man was also preyed on at the nearby First Colony Mall. Surveillance video shows a man who followed him into a bathroom and beat him unconscious for his phone.

I m not out at night, especially around Christmas time, said shopper Vicki Urrutia. At some point, you get to the point, if you don t steal it how are you going to get it. It s kind of scary to think about it that way.

Police urge shoppers to not let their guard down during the hectic shopping season. This is when police say they typically see a surge in vehicle burglaries, and they also see more robberies in retail areas.

You ve got to pan your eyes around at all times, night or day, said shopper Kobi Conley.

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