MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A Miami Beach woman said a man on a motorized scooter robbed her after a day of shopping at Whole Foods Market. That’s when her determined boyfriend became her real-life detective.
The Miami Beach couple said the suspect, identified as 58-year-old Kirk Willis, stole the victim’s purse and cashed-in on her credit cards. They managed to track the suspect down and informed Miami Beach Police who arrested him.
Cellphone video captured a Miami Beach Police officer speaking with in the scooter rider just before he was arrested on Sunday.
Willis faced a judge in court Monday.
Police said the crime spree began at a Whole Foods Market near Alton Road and 11th Street.
The victim, who did not want to be identified, told 7News about the robbery.
“So it’s Thursday morning, 9 a.m., I go to Whole Foods practically every single day,” she said. “I had the shopping cart, I had a tote bag.”
The victim said she noticed a man on a motorized wheelchair followed her closely while she was shopping in the market.
“Initially, I did get a strange sort of vibe from him,” the victim said.
She thought little of it and continued to shop. She later noticed that her wallet from her tote bag was gone.
“Literally crossed the street, went to Walgreens and charged approximately $1,000 in charges,” the victim said.
The victim said several of her credit cards were used at the Walgreens to purchase gift cards.
“There was something weird about him,” she said, “and then it all clicked so quickly. I did not feel. He was so professional and so slick.”
Her bank alerted her of all the charges via email. She said Whole Foods has video of the man stealing her wallet.
On Monday, Willis appeared in Miami-Dade bond court. He’s been charged with multiple counts of credit card fraud.
The victim spoke at that bond court hearing. “I feel very unsafe. He has all of my information. He was staying in my area for weeks,” the victim told the judge. “He’s from Orange County.”
She credited the Miami Beach Crime and Prevention Facebook page for helping her boyfriend track Willis down.
The victim’s boyfriend tracked down Willis after the suspect went to the Walgreens on Washington Avenue the day of the robbery.
“I waited for the police officers to arrive,” the victim’s boyfriend said.
He took pictures of the man on the motorized scooter and shared it with police. He also shared it with the crime and prevention Facebook page which already flagged Willis as a repeat offender on the beach.
By Sunday, he was arrested.
“I feel a personal responsibility, in my part, to keep the beaches as safe as possible,” the victim’s boyfriend said.
The victim said she’s glad Willis is off the streets. “You have to follow up and make sure that this gentleman or person, this perpetrator, gets what they deserve,” she said. “That’s exactly what happened.”
Willis was charged with 19 counts of credit card fraud, credit card theft or possession of stolen credit cards. He is currently at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
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