Thieves targeting elderly in Polk County

Still frame from surveillance video

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Security video recorded in August at a Winter Haven Publix shows two women scanning customers. One sees the pocket of a man using a walker and points it out to the other woman. The woman then tries to bump into the man in an attempt to snatch his wallet.

Winter haven Police believe these women also grabbed another victim’s purse. “I am furious. I really don’t want this to happen to anybody else. You feel like a dope, but I don’t know how they did it,” said the victim, who News Channel 8 is not identifying.

Still frame from surveillance video
Still frame from surveillance video

This victim said the crooks went on a spending spree, ringing up $600 at Target and T.J. Maxx.

They also took a wad of cash that was in the purse ”I really can’t afford to lose $300 plus, all the aggravation too. I mean, that’s half of it,” the victim said.

Police think the women are likely professional thieves. They offered tips for people to avoid becoming victims. They suggest men put their wallets in front pockets.

“With women, they have their purse, even if the purse is zipped up, they’re that savvy that they can get close enough and inch that zipper open until boom. They can get that wallet and they’re gone,” said Jamie Brown with the Winter Haven Police Department.

That’s exactly what happened to this victim. ”I’ve always been warned that, shopping cart , you don’t put your pocket book in the top of the cart, and I didn’t. I was holding it,” the victim said.

This victim told News Channel 8 her neighbor told her not to carry all her credit cards and her ID. From now on, she won’t. “I hope that they catch them and they really give ‘em jail time,” she said.

The victim is just now getting her financial situation straightened out.

 

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