PURLOINED PURSES 


NOV. 19, 11:23 P.M.: It's true: Orlando has had its fair share of pizza pilfering, but this particular instance could very well top them all. Instead of preying on a pizza guy out on the street making deliveries, two young hooligans decided to make the victim come to them.

Promptly upon receiving an order, a pizza-delivering man headed for an apartment in the 2100 block of Raper Dairy Road. The deliveryman rang the doorbell – piping-hot pie in hand – and two 12-year-olds greeted him with a punch and a kick, then stole the pizza. Quality 8th-grade behavior, right?

NOV. 19, 4 P.M.: Earlier that evening, a 60-year-old woman and her granddaughter were out for an afternoon of heavy-duty shopping at a mall in the 4300 block of Millenia Boulevard. They selected the first garment shop to rummage through and began their spree. According to police reports, the store "was very crowded" – always a solid cover for a snitch.

Sometime during the spree, a man "accidentally" stepped on grandma's heel. "Sorry!" he told her. Grandma let the infraction slide, even after putting up with several other hurried folk who had bumped into her. Thinking nothing of the constant clashing, the dud-shopping duo pressed on. When it came time to pay for the selected goodies, however, all was not in order. Grandma's zebra-patterned wallet, containing $300 in cash and credit cards, among other things, had been swiped.

Just so you know, O-Town is home to some top-notch pickpockets. Guard those pocketbooks with your life – particularly if you find yourself in a situation where people keep inexplicably bumping into you.

NOV. 19, 4:38 P.M.: Anyone curious as to where grandma's wallet ended up? Read on.

Minutes after the boosting, the lady's husband phoned her, confused, inquiring about a $500 purchase at a popular consumer electronics store in the same mall. Actually, our grand theft suspect – who, weighing in at approximately 110 pounds and standing 5 feet tall, was better suited to be a petit theft thief – spent $3,500 at the store on computer equipment. And she wasted precious little time deciding what to buy, which is why safeguarding your wallet is a keen idea.

Ever think of getting one of those biker wallets on a chain? Maybe you should.

NOV. 18, 4:15 P.M.: Pocketbook theft, in fact, seems to be something of a trend of late.

A 26-year-old mother and her son were scanning a children's furniture shop in the 4300 block of Millenia Boulevard on this day. Layered on her son's baby stroller were a number of items. One of these was a wallet. All it took was one unattended second and the goods were gone.

What our pickpocket earned today was $20, the usual credit cards and a Disney pass. The credit cards were used to make two purchases totaling $1,500 at another electronics store inside the mall. Upon seeking further information at the store, like what the time of the purchases was and what had been purchased, our victim was denied all answers. A satisfying company policy, no doubt.

NOV. 13, 3 P.M.: Here we have yet another stolen wallet, only this time at a clothing store neighboring the aforementioned mall in the 4600 block of Millenia Plaza Way.

The victim, a 58-year-old woman, was clutching a shopping cart and steering it down aisle after aisle of women's clothing and home accessories. Though she "does not recall leaving her cart" unattended, police reports state, a brilliant aqua-green billfold neatly perched atop the buggy was noticed by someone and pocketed. Its contents: $150, four credit cards and her vehicle registration, among other valuables.

At this point, it may be time to presume that The City Beautiful's pickpockets have been multiplying at bloodcurdling rates. Either that, or we have one extremely prolific lifter on our hands.

NOV. 13, 2:30 P.M.: Same mall, different day, more boosted billfolds.

This time, an 80-year-old woman was browsing through a department store in the same 4300 block of Millenia Boulevard. While sifting through lady garments, an approximately 18-to-23-year-old man approached her. He began "asking her questions about sizes on the clothes," police reports state. Was this lad really oblivious to the fact that "S" means small and "L" means large? Oh no. I think not.

Naive as she could be, our good-humored gal took her time explaining what each size meant. Once he felt enlightened enough, the man split. But not before snatching a wallet fattened with $150, several credit cards and miscellaneous family photos from her purse. That dirty rat.

It was later discovered one of her stolen credit cards had been used at a Target, where our wallet snatcher may have put his newfound lady apparel size-deducing skills to the test.

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