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Finders keepers does not apply; police looking for purse thief

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-20 18:17:43-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Just because you find it, does not mean you can keep it. It’s called, “theft of mislaid property.”

“We as citizens have a legal obligation to try to return things of value,” said Mark Thomas, a detective from the Lexington Division of Police and the Crime Stoppers unit.

What happened to this victim could happen to anyone. You’re loading up the car in a parking lot, maybe the weather isn’t good, or the kids are driving you nuts and you forget to grab your purse, wallet, or phone. This is precisely what happened to the victim of this crime. Within a minute of leaving the Goodwill shopping center on Leestown Road, she doubled back for the purse she left behind. But it was gone by the time she arrived.

“You should know that if you found someone’s wallet, or purse in a shopping cart that you should contact the police, or the store you took it from,” Thomas said.

Instead, the person of interest caught on shopping center surveillance cameras, took the purse and the cash inside.

“You’ve got a loss of about 600 dollars, so this is a felony theft,” said Thomas.

Thomas also pointed out that the person of interest, who will now be arrested, and likely charged once found, could’ve kept the contents in this purse, and the purse itself, had she just done the right thing from the beginning.

“There’s a certain grace period that you have to wait,” he said, “ but if nobody claims it you can actually come pick it up yourself. If there’s no way of finding out who the owner might be, you could end up getting it back.”

From here, the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the victim will determine if charges are warranted, once this person of interest is apprehended.

Finders keepers, in the real world, is at your own peril.

Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward for information leading to an arrest. Just call the anonymous tip line at 859-253-2020, or text your information to “CRIMES” (274637), and add “LEXPD” to your tip.