Thief goes on shopping spree after stealing Vancouver woman’s purse

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

Published:

Updated: August 10, 2011, 9:59 PM

 

A Vancouver woman is getting her life in order after a man stole her purse from her office building Monday and used her credit cards to go on a shopping spree.

Joy Perry, office manager of Corner Office on Northeast 77th Avenue, said she stepped away from her desk for 40 minutes and returned to find her purse missing from its usual hiding spot: on a bottom shelf behind her desk.

Surveillance footage from the office building shows a man entering the building around 3:40 p.m. and leaving a few minutes later.

“I feel safe at my work, so never really had to worry (about theft),” Perry said. “Now, I have a different point of view of making sure things are locked down.”

After discovering her purse was missing, Perry quickly logged onto her bank account to see if her cards were being used. She said the purse thief spent $65 on a keyboard at Computer Mart on Northeast Andresen Road, $116 at Safeway and $32 at a smoke shop. She canceled her cards and is working with her bank to monitor her accounts.

Stolen credit cards aren’t the only thing Perry is concerned about. She said the suspect also walked away with family photos, health insurance cards, bank account information and a $25 Outback Steakhouse gift card that belonged to her 10-year-old son.

Perry said she hopes her purse will be found. She posted surveillance photos “all over Facebook” in hopes someone would recognize the suspect.

“Somebody knows this guy,” she said. “Sooner or later, somebody is going to say something.”

Perry said she will no longer leave her purse unsecured and unattended and has a new outlook on personal security.

“I’ve learned a very valuable lesson,” she said. “I’m pretty trusting, and I don’t really want to lose that quality, but I need to be more aware of my surroundings.”

Now, she locks away her purse and keeps the key on her.

Vancouver police Officer Ilia Botvinnik is investigating the charges made with Perry’s credit cards. As of early Wednesday afternoon, Perry said she’d heard of no arrest in the case.