According to police officials, on Friday, July 23, at 5:26 p.m., Wayne Police Officer Daniel Mc Dermott was dispatched to Burlington Coat Factory, on Hamburg Turnpike, for a reported theft.
Officials said that Officer Mc Dermott learned that a woman was shopping in the store when she left her purse unattended to locate more merchandise.
According to police, when she returned, her purse was missing. Store security and Officer Mc Dermott reviewed video recordings and observed two females hovering near the victim while she was trying on shoes.
When the victim stepped away to acquire more shoes, one of the female suspects grabbed the purse and walked away. She removed items from the purse while the other female stood by, apparently acting as a lookout.
Police said that the first female then discarded the purse in an aisle of the store, and both women proceeded to the registers and paid for items they purchased with a credit card.
Upon getting her purse back, the victim discovered that an envelope containing $2,800 in cash was missing.
Wayne Police Detective Patrick Wlazel conducted a further investigation into the theft. Records subpoenaed from Burlington Coat Factory led Det. Wlazel to a suspect who appeared to be the woman in the video who took the victim’s purse and removed items from it.
According to police, during an interview, the suspect admitted she had stolen cash from the victim’s purse.
Arrested was Elayne Santana, 36, of Paterson. She was charged with 3rd-degree Theft of Mislaid Property. Ms. Santana was released on a summons in accordance with bail reform guidelines.