COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - A shopping trip turns into an all-out search for a thief in Colonial Heights.
Candice Crockett was determined to catch a thief inside Southpark Mall when she realized her phone - which also doubles as a wallet - was taken while she was ordering a snack before planning to go to a movie with her mother and her daughter.
Realizing her credit card and license were gone, she tried to track her phone, but it had been turned off. Crockett's Superbowl Sunday quickly turned into a mad dash to find her belongings.
"I saw there was a charge at Southpark Mall to Macy's for $96, so I ran to Macy's," she said.
Crockett started tracking the thief with her mom's phone. After logging into her banking app, she watched purchases being made in real time as she was also on the phone with her credit union to get the card turned off.
"When I'm talking to the lady on the phone at the bank, and I'm talking to the manager of Macy's, another charge pops up for $360 to Macy's," Crockett explained. "A few minutes later, another charge pops up at Foot Locker, so I say, 'alright, I'm running.'"
Realizing the card was still in the mall, Crockett made it her mission to find the culprit. Running from store to store, Crockett says an employee at Foot Locker was helpful, giving her a description of the thief: wearing a black hoodie and blue Timberland boots.
Crockett then went to Jimmy Jazz when Crockett's card was declined, but it turned out to be a dead end.
Soon after, the Foot Locker employee spotted the suspected thief standing in the mall with a group of people, so Crockett confronted him.
"I really wanted my stuff back, that's all I wanted so I got a little loud."she said. "He said he didn't know what I was talking about, but he had a Macy's bag and a Foot Locker bag on his shoulder and the Foot Locker guy said, 'yeah that's him.'"
Crockett says she actually tried to grab the bags from Macy's and Foot Locker, but the man took off, security and Crockett running after him. She says he got away in a white Nissan Sentra.
"He was very quick to take this and shop, and he knew exactly what he was doing, because he cut my phone off so I couldn't track him," Crockett explained. "I wanted my stuff back. My debit card, my phone...I didn't want this man to take advantage of me or anybody else."
Thinking back on the situation, Crockett admits she should have been more patient, tracking the transactions and working with police, instead of confronting the thief. Her hope now is that he can be caught, so someone else isn't targeted.
Crockett has been in touch with Colonial Heights Police, and they are investigating.
She has shared the situation in a Facebook post, which more than 200 people have shared.
"This is not the first time he's done it, so if we don't catch him, or police don't catch him, this will not be last time," said Crockett.
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