Police search for elderly ‘buffet bandits’ targeting South Florida hotels

HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Two elderly bandits were caught on camera stealing from tourists at two South Florida hotels.

Cameras rolled as the couple walked through a breakfast buffet at the Hampton Inn in Hallandale Beach and proceeded to steal from feasting tourists, July 26.

The video showed one the thieves, a woman in a white shirt and sunglasses, walking off with a victim’s purse.

“You can see them distracting. You can see them, kind of, in their demeanor, plotting and then instantly, in seconds, in a millisecond, they’re leaving with someone’s property,” said Hallandale Beach Police Department Maj. Pedro Abut.

Police suspect that Hallandale Beach may not be the duo’s only target. Surveillance cameras captured the couple walking into another busy buffet at a Miami Springs hotel June 23.

The woman can be seen on camera crouching down behind a group of diners.

Police said the woman came in with one bag but left with two.

“Although you’re on vacation, and you’re a tourist and you’re enjoying yourselves, you have to be mindful of your area,” said Abut. “You have to be mindful of people like this, because as we speak, these two individuals are out there trying to identify and locate and steal someone else’s property.”

Officials are hoping both surveillance videos will help the community identify the thieves.

“The ‘breakfast bandits.’ That’s going to really quickly come to an end,” said Abut.

If you have any information on these thieves, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

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