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Purse-snatcher suspect is now in custody, deputies say

Deputies say a woman suspected of stealing purses in Guilford and Alamance County stores is now behind bars.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Update: A detective with the Guilford County Sheriff's Office says they've identified the suspect at Tonya Napolitano. We're told she's in Alamance County Jail on similar charges.

When you're shopping at the grocery store, you're focusing on what's going in your cart. But you may forget to make sure no one is taking something out of it.

It happened to a Guilford County woman at the Whitsett Food Lion, according to a Guilford County Sheriff's Office incident report.

"I reached up to get to the potatoes and I put them in the cart and I started to walk away then I noticed that my purse is missing. So I went to the office and I reported it to the manager," said Guilford County resident Pat Brown.

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The manager of the Food Lion called the Guilford County Sheriff's Office. When a deputy arrived they went through surveillance video with Brown, who realized she'd seen the purse snatcher moments before it happened.

"She was walking around the produce department. I noticed that, and I noticed that she didn’t have a wagon and I just figured that she needed one thing and was going to be gone. But I did not know that she was going to be the one that took my purse that day," said Brown.

Credit: Guilford County Crime Stoppers
Purse snatcher wanted

A customer found Brown's cell phone in the parking lot.

"I did get my cell phone back and I’m very thankful also I didn’t listen to my husband that day because I put my keys in my jacket pocket. If I hadn’t done that and I left them in the purse, she could’ve taken our car as well," said Brown.

Her wallet, $200 worth of gift cards, a small amount of cash, a credit card and medical information were all inside the stolen purse.

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According to Greensboro/Guilford Crime Stoppers, she isn't the only one whose purse has been taken.

Law enforcement said in a Facebook post that the same woman stole purses from shopping carts in grocery stores in Guilford and Alamance Counties. 

Greensboro/Guilford Crime Stoppers are reminding you to never leave your purse unattended. 


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