AVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) - - A prosecutor for the Broward State Attorney’s Office was arrested after police said she was caught shoplifting at a Publix supermarket in Aventura.
Stacey Honowitz, a veteran lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, faces a misdemeanor theft charge for Saturday afternoon’s incident.
Aventura Police officers were called to the supermarket, located at 18995 Biscayne Blvd., after the staff at the store claimed to have caught Honowitz shoplifting.
Officers reviewed surveillance video and interviewed employees before charging Honowitz.
According to officials, Honowitz tried to steal three beauty products totaling around $42.
The arrest report stated she had about $125 worth of groceries legitimately in her shopping cart. Employees, however, found the beauty supplies in her purse.
Employees said Honowitz concealed the supplies in her purse and said they saw her shoplifting on surveillance video. That’s when employees said they made contact with her before calling police.
Customers at the Aventura Publix were shocked.
“She shouldn’t have done that,” said a shopper. “She’s helping the law, and she’s also shoplifting? That definitely does not make sense.”
Police said because this was her first arrest and she is facing a misdemeanor charge.
The veteran prosecutor has worked in the Child Abuse/Sex Crimes division of the State Attorney’s Office for many years. She has been linked to several high-profile cases.
Broward State Attorney’s Office spokesperson Constance Simmons issued a statement on Monday that read in part, “We have been made aware of the incident by the prosecutor. She has been suspended pending an administrative review.”
The defense attorney representing Honowitz said in a statement there is a simple explanation as to what happened. “She inadvertently did not pay for the cosmetics when she checked out and paid for her $130 groceries. She did not even leave the store after she paid. She then purchased lottery tickets and was chatting with another customer. There was no intent to commit a crime at all.”
The statement goes on to say that Honowitz mentioned the incident to her supervisors. She will use her vacation time while the investigation takes place.
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