published: Friday, March 22, 2013
Police searching for high-end purse-snatchers
MILLARD K. IVES | Staff Writer
They weren't your typical purse-snatchers, looking for fast cash and maybe a credit card or two.
Clermont police said they are looking for four people who allegedly dashed out of a TJ Maxx store early this month with about $3,000 worth of high-end purses.
The three men and one woman are the same group who could be linked to similar thefts within the department store chain across Central Florida.
Clermont police said Norberto Ortiz-Reyes, the store manager of the TJ Maxx in Clermont Landing, told investigators that on March 6, he noticed four people standing next to the front door, each carrying three purses -- on each arm. When the four noticed him, they bailed out the store and hopped into a new model, four-door gray Acura, with the license plate covered up.
They then sped toward U.S. Highway 27.
The report adds Ortiz-Reyes estimated the 24 bags -- including the Michael Kors brand -- ranged in value from $119 to $199, or about $3,000 total.
TJ Maxx stores throughout Central Florida apparently have had problems with an identical group shoplifting high-end purses, targeting mostly Michael Kors bags, according to the report.
In mid-February, nine stores from Zephyrhills to the Venice area were hit by a similar group.
According to a TJ Maxx memo, the group usually strikes Monday through Saturday, somewhere between 11 a.m. and
7 p.m., but usually between 3 to 5 p.m.
The shoplifters were described as thin-built and in their mid-20s, with the woman wearing a do-ray, a cloth, wrapped around her head.