LAKE WALES (FOX 13) - Two people are in custody after surveillance cameras caught them snatching an elderly woman’s purse outside a local Walmart.
Lake Wales police detectives say it happened Saturday afternoon in the parking lot of the Walmart in the 2000 block of State Road 60 shortly before 1 p.m.
Cameras were rolling as 77-year-old Rita Nicely was walking her cart to her car, when suddenly a man- later identified as 22-year-old Brandon Mavity- quickly walked up behind her, grabbed her purse and took off running.
They say a second man- 21-year-old Brandon Pitts- was acting as a lookout, and started running too.
Others in the parking lot tried to chase after them, but they escaped into a nearby orange grove.
Police say they called every on-duty officer to the scene, as well as a few off-duty officers, K9 and air units.
The suspects were eventually caught after being cornered in a neighborhood not far from the grove.
They said the suspects still had Ms. Nicely’s phone, and that her purse with most of her belongings was also found a short time later.
Detectives say Mavity and Pitts both have extensive criminal records, and are adding several new charges to their lists after the incident.