AVENTURA (CBSMiami) – Two women are accused of using stolen credit cards at high-end stores in Aventura Mall.
Aventura Police say two of those credit cards had been in a purse that was stolen by pickpockets at the mall this past Saturday and the woman whose purse was taken told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I feel violated. I feel terrible and I feel very scared because I am always very careful what I do with my wallet.”
Police say On Monday, Pamela Williams, 52, drove Danielle Vecchio, 31, to the mall.
Williams gave Vecchio five stolen credit cards and told her to go into Bloomingdale’s and buy some pricey things.
Vecchio bought two pairs of designer sunglasses for $1,400 using a stolen American Express card. She then headed back to the car and as they two were leaving the mall they were picked up by police.
During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Vecchio also tried to buy a $4,800 handbag at Nordstrom’s inside the mall, earlier in the day before the Bloomingdale’s theft, using a different set of stolen credit cards.
Both of the cards she tried to use were declined.
The owner of the cards was contacted by her bank about the transaction and she confirmed that she didn’t try to make it. She then called the police who were able to catch up with Williams and Vecchio as they left the mall.
That victim did not want to be identified but she wanted to speak out.
“American Express called my house to tell me that someone tried to use my credit cards at Nordstrom’s and charge over $4,000 and they were declined,” she said.
That victim said, “The only time I think they could have taken it was when I paid at the cashier because that is the only time that I take my wallet out of my pocket and what I usually do is put my wallet under my armpit and hold it tightly after I take out my credit cards. My feeling is someone probably swiped my wallet from under my arm and I was not aware of it.”
“I’m very pleased about the work done by the Aventura Police Department,” she said. “I hope they keep up the good work. I wasn’t even aware that my wallet had been stolen until I was called about the attempted credit card charges. Aventura Police really moved quickly. I was impressed.”
D’Oench asked her if she had any advice for people during this busy holiday season.
“My advice is you can’t be too careful,” she said. “You must be very diligent and keep your eyes and ears open.”
Police found an additional four stolen credit cards on Williams and Vecchio.
Both Williams and Vecchio face a number of charges including fraudulent use of credit cards, possession of stolen credit cards, and grand theft.
This was the second arrest at the Aventura Mall in recent days.
Sylvia Lorenzo, 58, was arrested after she was caught on security cameras stealing wallets out of people purses, according to police. In the videos you see a woman pretending to be standing in line to make a purchase and then getting close to an unsuspecting shopper before reaching into their purse.
Police say she even wore a wig to disguise herself.
This was not her first run-in with the law. Her arrest record reveals grand theft charges between 1991 and 1993, a charge of obstructing a police investigation in 2001, a charge of robbery/sudden snatching in 2003 and a pick-pocket arrest in 2008, all at the same mall.