A woman was the victim of crime inside a Tamarac store and it was all caught on camera. But when the video was not released it left her frustrated and demanding to know why. 7Investigates Karen Hensel finally got answers for her.
Gabriele Chiaro says she has always respected police officers. She even has this life-sized statue of one in her home.
Gabriele Chiaro, crime victim: “I trust the police all my life. We need you. We love you.”
So when her wallet was stolen at this Ross store in Tamarac…
Gabriele Chiaro: “It was my 78th birthday, April 25.”
She turned to police.
Gabriele Chiaro: “I come to the cash register. My wallet is gone. I couldn’t believe it, and I have my life in my wallet.”
Her wallet with her credit cards, driver’s license, insurance cards and cash, all gone. But that moment in the store would be just the start of her headache. That’s because even though there is video of the crime, the Broward Sheriff’s Office refused to release it.
Gabriele Chiaro: “Why can you not release it so that they can get caught and stopped? Nobody is helping, nobody cares. It is so depressing.”
So she turned to 7News for help, starting our month-long effort to get and air the video.
We asked BSO for it several times, but they refused.
They told us the video was “confidential and exempt” under Florida Law, as part of the store’s security system and they would “need approval” from Ross to release it.
Attorney Virginia Hamrick, First Amendment Foundation: “I don’t see in the statute where they need approval.”
We took the issue to the First Amendment Foundation, a watchdog group for government transparency.
Attorney Virginia Hamrick: “Why is it released in some cases but not other cases? If they find that it furthers their duties and responsibilities, they can release it.”
And Tuesday, citing those same “official duties and responsibilities” BSO did release the video to 7Investigates.
You can see this woman reach into Gabriele’s shopping cart for a first time but lingers in the aisle. She then appears to signal a second woman with a hand gesture before trying again.
Gabriele Chiaro: “This is so obvious. Two women are after me, through the whole store, caught on video.”
Then, on the third try, she finally grabs the wallet out of Gabriele’s purse. Here is a closer look at both women and even though the video is blurry, getting it out there for everyone to see is all Gabriele wanted from the start.
Gabriele Chiaro: “Find them and bring them to justice. They have to be stopped.”
As a three-time cancer survivor, Gabriele has fought bigger battles, and while she calls this really good news, she now hopes the pair is caught.
Karen Hensel, 7News.
Anyone with information is asked to call BSO Detective Natalie Hernandez at 954-247-6027 or call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous.
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.