PRESCOTT, Ariz. – A woman whose purse was stolen and the thief who took it inadvertently stood next to each other at a Prescott bookstore — she to complain about the unauthorized use of her credit card, he to get some cash.
The 59-year-old victim went to Hastings Books and Music on Tuesday to tell the store that someone had stolen her purse and used her credit card to buy $200 in DVDs.
Minutes later, while the woman was standing there, a man came up to the counter and tried to return eight DVDs in exchange for cash. The two didn't recognized each other, and the woman even politely made room for the man when he walked up.
When the manager came to handle both transactions, she connected the dots.
It was "as if the world had stopped," said Susan Murphy, another customer who had been browsing through magazines.
The manager "looked at the receipt, looked at the elderly lady and then at the young man standing next to her and said, 'This is the transaction,"' Murphy said. "It just blew us all away."
That's when the man rushed out of the store. Police arrived and eventually caught up with him.
The 22-year-old man admitted to police that he had stolen the purse and used the woman's credit card at the bookstore, a grocery store and a Wal-Mart. Police said the purchases added up to $716.
The suspect's name had not been released.