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Thieves target 89-year-old woman at Publix

Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 30, 2017

Hillsborough County Deputies are searching for two pickpockets who targeted an 89-year-old woman at a Publix grocery store located in the Village Center off North Dale Mabry Highway in Carrollwood. 

"It was just a thrill thing for them I think. But they were definitely professional," Alberta Harris said about the men who pulled her billfold from her purse.

The entire crime captured on surveillance video lasts only about 25 seconds, but the impact for Harris will last months. They managed to get away with her credit cards, cash and ID's while she was trying to find a desert in the frozen food aisle. One man distracted her while the other pulled her wallet out of her purse.

Video shows one of the men open a freezer door next to Harris as she was looking at items to buy.

"He backed in as far as he could with his arm and reached into the frozen pies, the same place I was picking from, he started making so much noise, he wasn't picking anything up, he was just turning his hand over and over, making a lot of noise," she explained.

At the same time the second man is seen approaching her cart twice. On the second attempt, he succeeds in stealing her wallet. He's seen trying to cover it from view with another item before tucking it under his shirt or into his waistband. 

Harris says she fastened her purse in the cart and is surprised anyone could have pulled her wallet so easy. 

Tonight, she has only one question for the thieves.

"Why don't you just get out and get a worthwhile job?"