Cameras catch thief stealing Publix shopper's wallet

Customer angry over way police handled investigation

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Investigators said a thief is on the loose after surveillance cameras captured him taking a woman's wallet from her purse as it sat in the grocery cart unattended while she shopped.

The incident happened Tuesday at the Publix grocery store on Edgewater Drive in Orlando's College Park neighborhood, according to police records.

Annie Schweiger told police she got to the front of the store to pay for her groceries when she realized something was wrong.

"Somebody took my wallet," she told Local 6. "I just saw it in there, when I went to put my phone in my purse a moment earlier. It happened that fast."

Schweiger said she got the attention of an off-duty Orlando police officer at the front of the store to help her.

She said Publix's night manager offered to let her look at the store's surveillance cameras to see if they may have caught something. She said she was shocked when the police officer told her that wouldn't be necessary.

"He was like, 'Well, there's nothing we can do. There's nothing we do in the situation. This happens and we don't do anything about it,'" Schweiger said.

Unconvinced, Schweiger said she got up Wednesday morning and watched the surveillance footage at the grocery store. She said you could see the older black man slide up next to her cart, where she kept her purse.

Schweiger said when she bent down to pick up some yogurt, the man grabbed her wallet and walked away.

She turned the video over to the Orlando Police Department, where detectives learned about what the off-duty officer had told her. Schweiger said the department advised her to file a report against him.

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