2 men target elderly woman at Publix, steal her wallet

BSO: Thieves spend about $1,500 at Best Buy with victim's credit card


COOPER CITY, Fla. – Broward Sheriff's Office detectives are searching for two men who they said distracted an elderly woman at a Publix in Cooper City so they could steal her wallet.

The incident was reported just before 2:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at a Publix supermarket at 10018 Griffin Road.

Surveillance video shows the men pretending to shop for gift cards and then approaching the 92-year-old woman, who was looking at items in the pharmacy section.

BSO spokeswoman Joy Oglesby said one of the men asked Betty Swanson a question while the other unzipped her purse in her shopping cart and swiped her wallet.

Swanson had $40 in cash, several credit cards and her driver’s license inside the wallet, Oglesby said.

"I was mad and upset, yeah -- really, really mad," Swanson told Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez.

Swanson said if she had gotten a hold of the man who stole her wallet, "he'd have been sorry."

"Why did they have to prey on other people?" Swanson said. "Why don't they get out there and get a job or do something that's worthwhile."

Surveillance video caught the same men using Swanson's credit card the same day to purchase an Xbox One and two Dell Inspiron computers at a Best Buy in Pembroke Pines for a total of about $1,500.

"If they had been in front of me doing that, I would have hit them with the cane," Swanson said. "I really would."

Swanson told Local 10 News that she is taking precautions to make sure this never happens to her again.

"I wear a fanny pack now," she said. "I do. Yeah. I don't take a purse."

Anyone with information about the thieves' identities is asked to call Detective Glen Gainey at 954-435-2200 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. A reward of up to $3,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

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