Woman caught on camera stealing wallet from purse at Hollywood Publix

Wallet contained $400 in cash, various credit cards, police say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Ian Margol - Reporter

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Hollywood police are searching for a woman who was captured on surveillance video stealing a wallet from a customer's purse at a Publix supermarket.

Surveillance video released Thursday shows the thief approaching the victim from behind July 5 at the Publix at 1700 Sheridan St.

The victim was checking out the produce when the woman snuck behind her, reached into her purse that was in the shopping cart and took her wallet.

The thief even hangs around to pick out her own produce before leaving.

"It took a matter of seconds," the victim, who did not want to be identified, told Local 10 News. "She stood right next to me and plucked it out, went around and, I think, probably hid it in her shirt, came back, walked out with me with the cart, let me go ahead of her -- in just a matter of seconds."

The victim said she had no idea that her wallet had been stolen until she got to the check-out line.

"So, of course, in a state of panic I said, 'Somebody stole it.' And I was pretty sure that's what happened," the victim said. 

Police said the wallet contained $400 in cash and miscellaneous credit cards, which were used in Fort Lauderdale.

A similar incident was reported a couple weeks later at an Aldi in Cooper City.

In that case, a woman matching the same description stole a wallet in the exact same way -- waiting until no one was looking, and then reaching into an unsuspecting shopper’s purse before making her getaway.

Detectives have not confirmed whether they believe the same woman is involved in both thefts, but both of the cases are still open.

Anyone with information about the thief's identity is asked to call the Hollywood Police Department at 954-967-4636 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

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