SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A quick trip to Publix for a Southwest Miami-Dade woman ended with $2,000 swiped by a thief who was caught on surveillance video.
Elsa De Lima said she went to the supermarket, located on South Dadeland Boulevard in Kendall, Friday afternoon. “I was beside myself. It all happened so fast,” she said.
De Lima was about to wire $2,000 to her uncle, who is suffering from kidney failure. “Two thousand dollars that was supposed to go to my ill uncle is now nowhere,” she said.
De Lima approached the Western Union counter at the Publix, but what she didn’t realize was that she was being watched by a woman.
“She had a child in the stroller, and that’s where she put the money, in the stroller, when she took it,” said De Lima.
Security footage shows De Lima in the left part of the frame filling out a form at the Western Union counter. When she walks away to ask the clerk a question, the crook is seen pushing the stroller and walking up in the bottom right part of the frame.
The video shows the thief pretending to also fill out a form. When she makes sure the victim isn’t looking, the thief is seen grabbing the envelope full of cash and casually walking away, slipping the money in her baby’s stroller.
“When I looked back, she’s looking down, and she’s filling out a form. Next thing you know, she left with the money,” said De Lima. “I thought it was her initially, but I wanted to confirm.”
Realizing her cash was gone, De Lima quickly alerted security and then was left having to break the news to her uncle.
“As a family, we try to contribute as much as we can together, and I was trying to get the money over to him on this afternoon,” she said. “That didn’t work out the way that we planned.”
Now, as authorities track down this criminal with a stroller, De Lima took the opportunity to urge others to always be aware and know your surroundings.
“It’s a red flag, and it reminds you to be a little bit more careful and less trusting of people,” she said.
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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