Man arrested after snatching wallet from elderly woman at Publix, authorities say

Albert Robinson arrested in Alachua County

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

COOPER CITY, Fla. - Police have arrested one of two men believed to have targeted a 92-year-old woman at a Publix in Cooper City, stealing her wallet.

The victim, Betty Swanson, was thrilled to hear the news. 

"Terrific, terrific, terrific, terrific," Swanson said. "I would have liked to have been there when they arrested him."

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

Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Joy Oglesby told Local 10 News on Tuesday that Albert Robinson, 55, was arrested in Alachua County and will eventually be extradited to Broward County.

Records show he was arrested April 9 in Gainesville after allegedly committing a similar crime.

He is expected to be charged with grand theft and identity theft.

"How come he (picks) on people instead of getting a job?" Swanson said.

Surveillance video from the Cooper City incident shows the men pretending to shop for gift cards and then approaching Swanson, who was looking at items in the pharmacy section.

"I was just in the store getting ready to check out and this man came and asked me if these medicines where good for pain," Swanson said. 

Oglesby said that when one of the men asked Swanson the question 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.

Swanson told Local 10 News last month that if she had gotten a hold of the man who stole her wallet, "he'd have been sorry."

"If they had been in front of me doing that, I would have hit him with my cane," she said. "I really would." 

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.

Swanson was overjoyed when told about the arrest Tuesday.

According to an arrest report, Robinson stole another woman's wallet from her purse April 9 while she was distracted inside a Walmart in Gainesville.

Police said the wallet contained $30 in cash and several credit cards.

"I'm sorry for the other people, but I'm glad they got him because now he can't hurt other people anymore," Swanson said. 

Anyone with information about the other thief's identity is asked to call Detective Glen Gainey at 954-435-2200 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Copyright 2016 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.