Police in Port St. Lucie seek assistance in finding a man who is allegedly targeting women at grocery shops and swiping their wallets.
Devante Durham, a 26-year-old Boynton Beach resident, has been named as the alleged serial pickpocket thief. A total of 72 counts against him are related to recent thefts that were seen on security footage at several Treasure Coast businesses.
Detective Pietro Pizzani noted that all of the perpetrator’s victims were female and frequented places where they would leave their handbags unattended in shopping trolleys.
Four counts of petit theft, 22 counts of credit card theft, 15 counts of credit card fraud, and 31 counts of fraudulent use of personal identity are among the allegations.
Pizzani said that since February, Durham has been connected to at least 4 theft instances on the Treasure Coast.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Deb Pizzimenti was a victim while making a purchase at an Aldi grocery store on St. Lucie West Boulevard.
“I turned to pick some cherries while my bags were lying against this little handbag, turned around, and heard everything that was going on. It occurred so quickly, “Pizzimenti stated.
She challenged the guy in the checkout line after realizing her wallet was missing.
“And this man comes the opposite way, waiting in line at Aldi without a cart. I was like, “Excuse me, sir, did you notice who snatched my wallet? ” because nobody does that. I just had my wallet stolen in the fruit aisle,” I said, and he responded, “I don’t have your wallet.””
Police said Durham fled after using stolen credit cards to purchase several thousand dollars’ worth of gift cards.
“His primary goal was to quickly exit one shop and enter the next. He would start at the Aldi, grab the wallet containing the cards, go to Walmart, change into new clothes, and then use those cards to buy gift cards at the register. His approach was like that “”Pizzani” remarked.
Police are now advising consumers to always be on guard in reaction to the crimes.
“He’s still on the loose, and because men like him are often aggressive, we simply want to make sure you call us if you have any contact with him or know where he is. We’ll take care of it “”Pizzani” remarked.
Please call Detective Pizzani at 772-344-4075 or the Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 800-273-8477 if you have any information on Durham’s whereabouts.