7News viewer provides tip that nabs alleged credit card criminal

MIAMI SHORES, FLA. (WSVN) - A woman who allegedly went on a shopping spree with a stolen credit card was caught and taken into police custody.

The alleged thief was stopped after a 7News viewer saw the story and contacted police.

The victim, Marisa Matluck, said she felt violated for weeks after the suspect got hold of her credit cards and went shopping.

7News was there as suspect Patricia Stephens was taken into custody.

7’s Rosh Lowe asked what she had to say to the victim, but she thought she was accused of murder. “What woman? That I murdered somebody?” Stephens asked. “You said I murdered somebody?”

After clarifying with Stephens, she said, “Oh, I thought it was murder.”

According to Miami Shores Police, Stephens was caught on camera at a Saks Off 5th store in Aventura as she shopped with Matluck’s credit card.

“I spoke with Bloomingdale’s, which was one place that my card had been used, and she had bought Ferragamo shoes, and in Saks Off 5th as well, there was a bunch of jewelry and a really expensive watch purchase,” Matluck said. “Best Buy, over $900 in purchases on two different credit cards. Whole Foods — I mean, she went wild.”

Matluck was at a Miami Shores yoga studio in late December when her cards were swiped from her purse, which was in a cubbie hole, police said.

7News showed Matluck the video of Stephens in handcuffs and said she was stunned by her reaction. “Murder? She definitely wasn’t remorseful,” Matluck said. “I’m glad that we found her.”

Police are now investigating to see if Stephens is behind other cases.

Matluck said she is relieved now that the suspect is caught. “I felt like, to her, it wasn’t important. I got a lot of comments from people who this has happened to before, and it really is important to a lot of other people,” she said, “so I’m really glad that we caught her, for all those people out there that have had their credit cards stolen and their wallets stolen and things taken from them.”

The victim said she’s grateful to the Miami Shores Police who released the surveillance video of Stephens shopping with her card. Almost immediately, officials received a specific tip that helped crack the case.

Stephens is behind bars and faces several charges.

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