FORT OGLETHORPE, Ga. (WRCB-TV) - One would think, even the criminal element would understand that good surveillance cameras are everywhere these days. Especially in a Walmart. If that notion does not force a person to do the right thing, that person has a problem. Such is the case with our Crime Stoppers subject this week.
"This is a crime of opportunity," said Fort Oglethorpe Police Lt. Steve Blevins, "where the lady finds this, picks it up, and then makes no attempt to return that property." The property in question is a purse. The scene of the crime is the Fort Oglethorpe Walmart and the first bit of surveillance video comes from the frozen food section on February 23. At the cooler is our victim: an 89-year old woman doing her weekly shopping.
"She is on an electric cart that Walmart supplies," explained Lt. Blevins. "Her purse is on the platform where your feet go and the purse is kicked off, by accident, by the lady." Seconds later, another woman enters the frame pushing a shopping cart. She is wearing what appears to be a tie-dyed shirt and is accompanied by a female child. The woman notices the purse and loiters in the aisle. She waits for the coast to clear after another lady passes the bag up, apparently not even seeing it. The woman then goes back, with the child, gives one more look around and grabs the handbag.
At this point, she could easily have set a good example for the child by taking the purse to the front to turn-in or alerting a manager, but that is not what happened. She is next seen on video exiting the store. When passing the camera, she looks to position a box to cover the now stolen purse in her shopping cart. "We're talking about a senior," said Blevins. "Someone that's on a limited income. Think about that as your own family, your own mother, your grandmother. And, do you want these individuals taken advantage of in that way."
Other video shows the two in a small, 4-door, silver colored car, heading away from Walmart and over to Taco Bell. That is where the woman ditched the bag. When recovered from the parking lot, it was found to be missing a number of the contents, including a bank card. That makes this crime a felony.
Have another look at the video and still images. Do you recognize this crook or her distinctive shirt with the red tie-dyed heart? Turn this woman in. Teach the child with her that crime does not pay.
If you have any information, call: 698-3333. There is up to a thousand dollars cash waiting for the right tip. And, as always, you never have to leave your name.