Surveillance cameras caught him in the act one week ago in Kensington.
The suspect followed his victim on the 1300 block of North Palethorp Street.
After grabbing her handbag, the suspect winds up and hits the victim multiple times.
The thief is described as a thin, 6 foot tall, African American man in his early twenties.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS (8477), text a tip to PPD TIP (773847) or through PhillyPolice.com.