SURFSIDE (CBSMiami) – A beleaguered victim is asking for the public’s help after her purse is stolen from a Surfside store that she manages.
The Prada purse contained some precious items: her diamond engagement ring and wedding band from her 2016 marriage.
Surfside Police are also joining her plea and have released a flyer with photos of two men who they are looking for who they say were captured on surveillance tape trying to use the victim’s credit cards at Target and Best Buy stores in Aventura and a Walmart store in Hallandale Beach.
The victim, Natalie Tenami, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench in an exclusive interview via Skype that the crime happened this past Monday at 12:15 p.m. inside her cousin’s store, Yaffa Wigs, at 9453 Harding Avenue. She had left her purse on a counter in back where a door was left ajar.
Surveillance cameras capture a hand grabbing the purse and stealing it and then the person vanishes. The surveillance cameras also show Tenami walking around the store exasperated with her hands on her head after realizing what had been taken. The two subjects were captured on camera at the stores in Aventura and Hallandale Beach after this crime happened. Police are trying to find out if they have committed crimes in other cities.
“I feel violated,” said Tenami, who also lost her drivers license, a social security card, expensive sunglasses and a Louis Vuitton wallet. “I feel like someone took my identity and my personal things that I need all day long. They are gone. I feel like I can’t do anything. I can’t rent a car. I can’t drive. I have no social security card and no passport and no license. They are all gone. And my wedding ring, that is sad that this can happen in Surfside.”
“It’s crazy how 40 seconds can change your life,” she said. “I turned my head for 40 seconds and someone just grabbed it and I realized right away that it was gone. I was in shock that someone could just grab my purse. My ring is a 1.3 carat diamond with a rose bowl band. It is a very simple brown diamond. I can’t believe it is gone. It means a lot to me and it would mean a lot to get it back. It is something I can pass on to my grandchildren and my children and it is gone. I wake up every morning and I can’t believe it is gone.”
“It would mean everything if I could get it back,” she said. “You can replace your credit cards and other items but to replace a diamond ring given to you by your husband this is something that you can not replace. I hope they find these guys. I believe this is not the first time they have victimized people in Surfside. This is a nice neighborhood and normally you feel safe. It is not right that our lives could change at any minute and we could be violated like this.”
Ariel Fleischer, who works at the store, said “It was very quick. She didn’t plan on leaving her purse there for a awhile. She planned on leaving. You think you are safe in the daytime during working hours. You are in places like Aventura and Bal Harbor and you never think things like that would happen.”
Surfside Police Sergeant Jay Matelis said, “We are going to be looking at pawn shops and following up with other agencies to see if they committed crimes in their jurisdictions. We advise that you always keep an eye on your property and don’t leave handbags or wallets or personal belongings unattended.”
If you recognize the men in the police flyer, you should call the Surfside Police Department at (305) 861-4862 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).