Deputies searching for purse thief in Lakeland

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Polk County deputies are searching for a man who stole a woman’s purse after she accidentally left it at a McDonald’s in Lakeland.

Deputies say around 7:10 p.m. on Aug. 21, a woman was finishing up at the McDonald’s located at US Hwy 98 North and left. However, she left her purse hanging on the side of her chair.

After driving half a mile up the road, the woman realized she left her purse and went back to the fast-food restaurant. Once she got there, though, the purse was gone.

Deputies went through security video and saw a man who was sitting nearby, got up shortly after the woman left and picked up the purse.

In the video, it looked like he was going to run after her in an attempt to return the purse. Then he cut back and went out of another door. Deputies say they thought he went outside to catch the woman as she drove away. However, that’s not the case.

Deputies say the woman got a message from her credit card company stating that a $79 charge for Lyft was being attempted on her card.

The purse was later recovered in Ocala.

If you happen to recognize the suspect or know any information on the situation, please contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-577-1629 or to remain anonymous, at 1-800-226-8477.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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