Scottsdale PD: Woman steals purses while in grocery stores

PD: Woman steals purses while in grocery stores
Posted at 12:49 PM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-02 21:42:41-04

A woman was caught stealing purses from unsuspecting grocery store customers, making nearly $8,000 in six months according to police. 

Scottsdale police report that since September, they had been getting reports of purse thefts in grocery stores. 

Store surveillance video reportedly shows the suspect getting into a gold car with a license plate registered to 58-year-old Debbie Jean Lackey. 

Police say Lackey has an extensive 30-year criminal history with at least ten felony convictions in California. 

So far, police say they have linked Lackey to 15 purse thefts from grocery store customers mostly in Scottsdale. 

"Maybe it was a minute or two," said Sheila Klausner, who told ABC15 she did not look away from her purse for long.

Klausner says Lackey got away with her keys and cash and started running up a bill on her credit cards within an hour.

"I was angry at first and I'm very disturbed that I had to go through all of this," Klausner said.

According to court documents, Lackey told investigators she steals purses almost every day and feels bad about it, but that she has no money, has to pay for living expenses and a weekly methadone purchase.

Scottsdale police encourage anyone who believes they might be a victim to give them a call.

One of the victims being a Gilbert Police officer. 

Police caught up with Lackey on March 26 near Scottsdale and Thomas roads. Lackey reportedly admitted to police that, "she steals purses nearly every day and feels bad about it." 

She was arrested on multiple counts of credit card theft. 

Police say other jurisdictions are investigating to see if Lackey is responsible for purse thefts in their cities.