I read a headline on The News4jax website. The headline stated “2 women sought in mall purse theft” and was about 2 women that were caught stealing at in St. Augustine. When I read the headline, I assumed that I would be reading an article about two woman that were shoplifting at a store and stole a purse. Depending on the value of the purse, they would have been arrested for petit theft or grand theft. Florida petit theft occurs if the value of the purse was less than $300. If the purse was worth $300 or more, this is Florida grand theft.
The two woman in the news story are accused of stealing a purse, but not from a store in the St. Augustine outlet mall. The are accused of stealing another woman’s purse at the Gap Outlet. “The victim and her family were in the store at 4:15 p.m. Aug. 8. The woman’s husband was pushing a stroller that contained the victim’s purse underneath in the baby apparel section, St. Johns County deputies said.” One woman is accused of distracting the husband while the second removed the purse from the stroller. After the woman took the purse, she removed an iPhone and $16 in cash from it. The purse was found on one of the Gap’s store racks.
Both women were Caucasian. “One was wearing dark blue pants, a white blouse, tennis shoes, and had long dark hair. The second was wearing a long, white print dress, black sweater, a dark ball cap and white sandals.” There is a surveillance video that clearly shows what the women looked like. The video also gives a clear view of the theft. On the video, you can see one woman speaking to the husband. It appears that she is asking him for help with an item on a higher clothing rack. While the man is helping her, the other woman reaches under the stroller and steals the purse. They both walk away to another area of the store.
After watching the video, I can say that both woman will need separate Florida criminal defense lawyers. They will both be charged with Florida theft. One woman committed the theft and the other is an accessory. The value of the IPhone alone is worth more than $300, so this is a grand theft. Grand theft is a felony. I think that they will need separate attorneys due to a conflict of interest. When you watch the video, you will see one woman steal the purse and go behind a fixture with it. The other woman is getting help from the husband. She does not look at the woman stealing the purse. She walks away and meets the woman that has the purse on the other side of the fixture. It appears that she sees the purse and immediately walks away. I think that she has a defense that she did not know the other woman was going to steal the purse. She may have seen it after the fact, became embarrassed and scared, and walked away.
Each of these women should speak with St. Johns County lawyers. I am sure that this video was on television. They should not speak with police without having their Florida criminal attorneys present. If you would like to watch the video of the St. Johns County theft, click on the link below.