Macon County Chronicle

Purse Snatchers Target Elderly Women

Pictured above is a still image of the theft suspects from Walmart security footage.

By Jessie Williams

 A Lafayette man and woman were arrested last week for stealing a purse and a wallet from two elderly women at the Lafayette Walmart. 

 

The first of the two incidents took place on February 15, 2019, when one of the female victims noticed her wallet was missing from her purse while she was shopping inside the store. 

One of the stolen credit cards inside the wallet was later used at a Red Box and the Lafayette Taco Bell. 

The second incident occurred on February 20, when an elderly woman’s purse was stolen from her cart as she unloaded groceries into her car. 

In both instances, the victims reported the missing items to a Walmart employee, who contacted the Lafayette Police Department. Officers then reviewed security footage from the inside and outside of the store. 

According to Lafayette Chief of Police Stacy Gann, the parking lot surveillance footage showed the vehicle the two suspects were driving in, and Patrolman Josh McClard conducted a traffic stop after observing the vehicle being driven on Ellington Drive on February 21, 2019.

The driver, 32-year-old Matthew Spivey, of Lafayette, was identified as the male thief in the Walmart security footage. 

He was charged with driving on a suspended license, violation of registration law, financial responsibility violation, theft of property (2 counts), theft: forgery, credit card (2 counts) and conspiracy: criminal, felony.

The second purse snatcher, 30-year-old Tamara Chalfant, of Lafayette, was later arrested at Wright’s Trailer Park. 

She was charged with theft of property (2 counts), theft: forgery, credit card (2 counts) and conspiracy: criminal, felony.

Both are scheduled to appear in general sessions court on March 27, 2019.