Reporting Peter D’Oench
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Police now say a serial purse snatcher who they are looking for walks with a limp and they hope that new information will prompt more tips in this case.
“We believe this woman is between 40 and 50 years old and has some sort of defect in her walk,” said
Miami-Dade Police Detective Javier Baez.
Baez told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that “It appears this woman walks with a limp.”
That purse snatcher struck most recently in December. But, this time police have surveillance video they hope will help someone identify the alleged thief.
Police say it appears the purse snatcher is a white, Hispanic female.
According to Miami-Dade Police, the purse snatcher has struck at least six times between August 19, 2012 and December 14, 2012. The purses have been stolen between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
All of the women have been victimized at or near the Falls Shopping area at Southwest 136th Street and 88th Avenue.
Horatio Garcia was with his wife when her purse was taken from the BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse near The Falls.
Police said the purse thief targets women who put their purse on the back of a chair or underneath the bar. When the woman is distracted, the thief sneaks off with the purse and leaves the restaurant.
“This purse snatcher basically waited for a moment of distraction while we were looking at our menus,” said Garcia. “My wife made the mistake of putting her purse behind her chair. We were on her radar. She was very brazen. We were in a public place full of people and she just grabbed it.”
Garcia told D’Oench, “People need to be aware of what can happen and not to put their purses on chairs behind them. You never know when someone will look for that opportunity to grab that item you are not watching.”
“I feel violated,” he said. “That’s because the purse snatcher took my wife’s valuable purse that had items inside it like her ipad. Then someone used her credit card to run up charges for gasoline and a meal at a nearby restaurant.”
Police said the thief has stolen thousands of dollars from the victims and will often use their credit cards for purchases in the area.
Another purse was stolen from another distracted woman at a nearby Outback Steakhouse.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at (305)471-TIPS (8477) or (866) 471-8477; or visit www.crimestoppersmiami.com.