The suspect has stolen at least six purses since August 2011 from customers at restaurants located in or near The Falls Shopping Center, according to police. Miami-Dade Police spokesman Detective Roy Rutland spoke about the case, as did Horacio Garcia, who is the husband of one victim, and diner Emi Prude.
Miami-Dade Police are searching for a purse snatcher who has stolen at least six purses since August 2011 from customers at restaurants located in or near The Falls Shopping Center.
Newly released surveillance video shows the woman walking up behind an unsuspecting diner. She waits for the moment the victim is distracted and then slides her purse off the chair. The thief carries on casually before she exits the restaurant.
Miami-Dade Police say each time she strikes in the same way. The department advises women to never place their purses on the backs on their chairs or underneath the bar.
The woman has made off with thousands of dollars from the victims and used stolen credit cards to make purchases in the area.
"She had a shawl and apparently she just grabbed the purse without anybody seeing her and wrapped it around this cloth that she had and that was it," said Horacio Garcia, the husband of one of the victims. "She's obviously a professional, she knows what she's doing."
Garcis said the thief moved quickly.
"We feel violated, our personal property was stolen. My wife loved that purse," he said. "All her belongings are in there, her wallet, her credit cards, her iPhone."
Police believe the thief is a middle-aged Hispanic woman. She's struck as recently as December, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.