Clearwater police seek well-dressed wallet snatcher

Pinellas County
thief swipes shopper's wallet

Clearwater police are searching for a well-dressed crook who plucked a woman’s wallet out of her purse while she was picking produce.  

The department released video of the caper on its Facebook page.

It happened on April 28 at the Whole Foods store in the Westfield Countryside Mall in Clearwater.

Police spokesman Rob Shaw says the video shows the man walking around the produce section of the store. He then spots the woman.

“He’s shopping around the produce area but he does seem to keep an eye on this woman, he probably notices she has a purse in the front part of the cart,” said Shaw.

“And that she’s occasionally picking out different items of produce there.”

The man swipes the wallet and quickly exits the store.  

Police say he then made his way south to the Best Buy store on Drew Street and U.S. 19 where he attempted to purchase thousands of dollars in items.  

It didn’t work.

The victim didn’t realize she’s been ripped off until she went to check out at the Whole Foods and discovered her wallet was gone.

Police are hoping someone recognizes the man and turns him in.

In the meantime, they are warning women to keep an eye on their valuables, even in stores where they believe they won’t be targeted.  

“And I’ve talked to some of our female detectives asking what do you do? Some have talked about how they would loop their purse strap around the cart and maybe turn it upside down,” said Shaw.  

“Just, not make it easy for the criminal.”

Anyone with information on his identity should call Clearwater police at 727-562-4242.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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