A Cape Coral man has been charged with grand theft after a store surveillance camera recorded him fleeing with a stolen purse in hand, officials said Tuesday.
Paul Michael Blake, 26, of 4628 Santa Barbara Blvd. was arrested Monday after he was identified in photos released by police to the media.
The purse theft happened Dec. 23 at 1:45 p.m. while a woman was loading groceries into her car at the Publix at 127 Cape Coral Parkway West. A man stole her purse from her shopping cart and fled without her noticing, police said in a statement released Tuesday.
Paul Michael Blake, 26, of 4628 Santa Barbara Blvd. was arrested Monday, charged with grand theft, and transported to the Lee County Jail.
The purse contained the woman's ID, credit cards and more than $300 cash.
Cape Police responded and checked the store's surveillance footage which showed the suspect on a bicycle riding behind the victim's vehicle and shortly thereafter, riding past with her purse in hand, officials said.
Digital still photographs of the store's surveillance video were circulated to the media as well as to police employees. Over New Year's weekend, several officers recognized the male in the surveillance photos as Paul Blake. Investigating Officer Rob Cantrell began his search for Paul Blake to question him about the incident.
On Monday, Jan. 2, Cantrell responded to an unrelated disturbance call and met a witness who told him that the person in the photos was Blake. The witness had seen the photos on the news. The witness told Cantrell that Blake was staying in a neighboring apartment.
Police contacted Blake in the apartment and questioned him about the theft. Blake reportedly admitted to officers that he was the male in the surveillance photos.
He was arrested and taken to the Lee County Jail.
Source: Cape Coral Police Department