Smooth criminal robs unsuspecting woman at Pinecrest restaurant

PINECREST, FLA. (WSVN) - Surveillance video captured the moment two criminals seamlessly robbed a woman at a Pinecrest restaurant.

Susan Simon can’t believe how fast it happened. “No wonder no one ever notices. They do it so smooth,” she said as she watched the surveillance footage for the first time.

Simon was out to dinner at a Pinecrest restaurant for a friend’s birthday party during the incident.

The surveillance video from inside the restaurant shows Simon sitting at the table with a group of women. Two men were sitting behind before one of them made their move.

One of the men, wearing a black shirt, turned around and used a jacket to hide his hand. That’s when the man went through Simon’s purse. “I felt terrible that they took something out of my purse, and I didn’t even know,” she said.

After stealing Simon’s wallet, police said the thieves told the hostess they were at the wrong restaurant and left. “I had a little velvet pouch with my credit card and money in it, and it was gone,” Simon said. “He is so slick. You know, like he does it everyday.”

Pinecrest Police said a woman used Simon’s credit card at a nearby Best Buy on South Dixie Highway, where an employee told police she bought the store’s most expensive computer — charging over $4,000.

“It is a different type of crime because they are using the setting of a restaurant,” said Michelle Hammontree, spokesperson for Village of Pinecrest. “They are sitting very close to these victims, and they are using jackets, their menus to disguise themselves, to hide what they are doing with their hands.”

Cops said these guys pick-pocketed other victims in November too at a Whole Foods and the Falls Shopping Mall.

Simon wants everyone to be on the lookout. “It is this little purse right here, and now I am keeping it right here on my lap because I wouldn’t want to have it happen again,” she said.

An incident like this emphasizes the importance of keeping an eye on your purses and bags.

If you have any information on this theft, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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