Ocoee police seek suspect who stole gold chain

Police say young male suspect snatched chain off victim's neck

OCOEE, Fla. - Police are asking for the public's help in finding a young man who snatched a gold chain off a woman's neck.

It happened at the Publix supermarket at 1720 E. Silver Star Road in Ocoee, Friday afternoon. At around 5:21 p.m., police said the suspect, described as a "young man", approached the woman, and stole her necklace before getting into a brief struggle and jumping into a waiting vehicle.

Women said they normally feel safe walking in and out of their grocery store, but not today.

"That's serious," said Malika Dabiri. "I always wear my gold chain."

It's not the only case where thieves have targeted Publix shoppers for their gold necklaces. In fact, workers at the Ocoee Publix told Local 6, one of their own employees was targeted recently prior to the customer getting robbed. Also, in late May, someone ripped a chain off Sheena Sheperd's neck in Orlando.

"He's done it before and he's going to do it again if they don't catch him," said Sheperd.

In light of the recent case, some women said they will change what they will do -- and wear -- the next time they go shopping.

"I'd probably talk on my phone or pretend like I'm doing something so they wan't come close to me," said Esmeralda Herrera. "Not wear anything loose around me."

"I have to pay attention when I'm coming out of the store if somebody's following me," said Dabiri.

It's unclear if any of these cases are related, or if the victim was injured in Friday's snatch-and-grab.

Anyone with information concerning this crime is asked to contact the Ocoee Police Department at 407-905-3160 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

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