Police in Ho Chi Minh City said they are hunting for a Pakistani man who is allegedly the leader of a robbery gang targeting local shops.
The 27-year old man, known only as Murtaza, and two of his accomplices reportedly stopped their car in front of a bedding store in District 1 on July 9.
The trio bought a pillow cover from the shop owner Pham Thi Ngoc Phu. When they paid for it, they suddenly snatched a thick wad of cash that Phu was holding in her hand.
They jumped into the car and drove away.
Phu chased after them on her motorbike, shouting for help.
A couple on another motorbike joined her and alerted two traffic policemen nearby.
The Pakistani gang then threw some cash out of the window, trying to distract their followers.
When they noticed that there were police officers right behind them, they stopped the car, got out and fled the scene.
Phu said they snatched VND17 million (US$850) from her.
Police later found out that Murtaza had rented the car from a local transport company.
A hotel in District 7 reported that the Pakistani group of four members stayed there from June 1.
They secretly left the hotel on June 12 without paying for their rooms.
Police say the hotline for the case is 08 3838 7414.