CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Woman caught on camera stealing wallet in Saratoga Springs restaurant

Jul 1, 2024, 5:00 AM | Updated: 12:37 pm

A woman was caught on camera stealing a wallet from a purse in a Saratoga Springs restaurant. The t...

A woman was caught on camera stealing a wallet from a purse in a Saratoga Springs restaurant. The theft is similar, especially the appearance of the suspect, to another that took place in December. Law enforcement has not yet confirmed the suspects are the same. (Courtesy: Jade Randall Lucero)

(Courtesy: Jade Randall Lucero)

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A woman was caught on a security camera stealing a wallet from another woman in a Saratoga Springs restaurant Saturday. According to past reporting, it might not be her first offense.

Jade Randall Lucero said she was at Village Baker with her family at approximately 3:45 p.m. Saturday.

“When we were about to leave my mom grabbed her purse and noticed her wallet wasn’t in it. She went to the front desk to see if she left it up there when she paid,” Lucero said. “And a little girl actually came up to our table and said that she saw the lady take it.”

Security camera footage

The security camera footage obtained later by police shows the woman sitting at a table behind Lucero’s family with a man. The woman maneuvered her leg over to a white purse, which was sitting under Lucero’s mother’s chair.

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She then spots a person walking towards them, and the woman shoves the bag away, leaving it exposed in the middle of the aisle. Two waiters then come out to serve another table, and one of them stumbles on the purse on his way back. The second waiter avoids the purse and walks around.

The woman then grabs the purse again and fumbles with it, grabbing the wallet, and then putting it back underneath the chair. The couple promptly leaves.

“We didn’t even notice these people sitting behind us,” Lucero said. “From the cameras, they walked in, sat down, and didn’t even order food. Doesn’t seem they came in with any intention to eat.”

Other potential incidents

What’s more, the woman looks eerily similar to the culprit of another theft caught on camera at a Herriman Panera Bread that was reported by KSL TV in December of 2023. However, law enforcement has not yet responded to KSL TV’s request to confirm they are the same suspect.

Stills from security footage in Utah restaurants, where the suspect made similar thefts, taking purses from the ground and stealing the wallets inside them. The left image was taken Dec. 7, 2024 and the right was taken on June 29, 2024. Law enforcement has not confirmed the identity of each or said whether they’re the same person. (Courtesy: Joy Thomas, Jade Randall Lucero)

The next events in Lucero’s case were similar to those of the December theft because the suspect (or suspects) immediately began spending money on the stolen credit cards. Lucero said she had a few cards in her mother’s wallet that were stolen.

“They tried to charge $2,009 at Best Buy, $195 at Target in American Fork with my debit card, $704.93 at Best Buy, and (another) $195 at Target with my credit card,” she said. “All were declined because we canceled cards right away.”

Riverton police believed the December theft to be an isolated incident, according to their communications director, Josh Lee.

I can confirm to you that this certainly is an isolated case, talking with the detectives and officers involved, this type of brazen reach in somebody’s purse in broad daylight is not something we see very often,” he said. 

However, the victim of the first incident, Joy Thomas, said she believed the suspects knew what they were doing.

I’m sure it wasn’t their first time,” she said. 

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Woman caught on camera stealing wallet in Saratoga Springs restaurant