By Peter D'Oench

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A victim’s family is asking for help to find a thief who stole from a car with a person inside, parked outside their own Miami home. They want him found so no one else becomes a victim.

CBS4’s Peter D’Oench started looking into the story after seeing an appeal from the victim’s daughter on Facebook – a daughter who incidentally has studied the criminal justice system. Dozens responded to the post, offering to share in order to help catch the criminal.

The family says the crime happened right outside their home in the middle of the day on Monday.

Surveillance video of the incident shows what appears to be a 4-door, blue compact car pulling up and a man getting out of the back seat. He then runs up with a white towel in his right hand and looks into the car’s right-side windows before opening the unlocked right-side passenger door.

The victim’s grandson was sitting in the backseat at the time.

“I had picked up food for him and I was handing it to my mom who was at the door,” the victim told CBS4’s Hank Tester.

The man grabbed her purse from inside the vehicle before running away and jumping in a waiting car which sped off.

“I did not understand what was exactly happening but then I saw him and my grandchild was screaming and my purse was gone,” the victim said.

The victim’s purse contained her phone, wallet and a number of other items.

A family member said it happened right in front of their house at NW 58th Avenue and 2nd Street.

“It is definitely a crime of opportunity. They will strike. Take the opportunity,” said Miami Police Officer Chris Bess.

The victim’s daughter is asking for the public’s help in circulating the picture and getting the word out to avoid a similar situation.

“Hoping they catch this criminal,” the victim’s daughter said in her Facebook post with the image of the man they say did it.

The man who took the purse was wearing a sweatshirt, blue jeans and sneakers. It is not known how or why he targeted that specific car.

Police have not said how many accomplices the thief had.

At last check, Miami Police were studying the surveillance tape.

If you can help call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471- TIPS.


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