Purse thieves caught

Published 12:33 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For the second time in two days, a purse heist has led to arrests by the Andalusia Police Department.

The incident occurred last Tuesday when a motorist from Georgia accidentally drove off and left her purse in a buggy in the Wal-Mart parking lot, said Sgt. Barney Tyree. He said a short distance down the road, the motorist remembered her purse; however, it was too late.

“By the time she made it back to the parking lot, it was gone,” Tyree said. “It was nowhere to be found. By using the Wal-Mart cameras, we were able to determine that a silver Dodge Durango pulled up beside the buggy. You could see them retrieve the purse from the buggy and place it inside their vehicle.”

Tyree said a couple, now identified as 55-year-old Timothy Paul Worley and 19-year-old Shandra Worley, and an unidentified 17-year-old juvenile then went inside Wal-Mart, shopped and returned to their vehicle.

“We were also able to determine the owners of the vehicle and their location, which was then in Florida,” he said. The couple is said to reside in the Florala/Laurel Hill, Fla., area.

Tyree said inside the purse was a wallet with an undisclosed amount of cash and several credit cards and two cell phones — all of which was recovered, with the exception of the cash.

He said the couple admitted to taking the purse and turned themselves in at the APD Monday afternoon.

Each of the three is charged with six counts of second-degree theft of property and one count of theft of lost property. Timothy Worley also faces a violation of probation charge.

The Worley couple was placed under arrest and sent to the Covington County Jail. The juvenile was released to his mother’s care.

“We remind residents to be mindful of where they place their wallets and purses,” Tyree said. “Make sure you have it in your possession at all times. In this case, most people would have turned the purse into the store or brought it to the police department.

“In this case, that didn’t happen, and that’s sad.”

Last Friday, a clerk at a local business was able to identify the persons responsible for allegedly stealing her purse and its contents.