Surveillance video captures scheme in action as woman’s purse is stolen at Brentwood grocery store

“I didn’t realize it of course until I got to the checkout stand to go pay and noticed my wallet was gone.”
WSMV4's Sharon Danquah reports.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:09 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - New surveillance video from a grocery store in Brentwood will have you thinking twice about where you place your purse or wallet while grocery shopping.

Surveillance video from Publix captured a scheme in action as a man is seen stealing a woman’s purse right out of her grocery cart while she’s being distracted by another person.

WSMV4 spoke to the victim, Nancy Coker, and she’s warning shoppers to avoid simply grabbing a cart and setting their purse or personal belongings down in it and begin shopping without making sure they’re secure.

Surveillance video captures woman’s purse stolen from cart in Brentwood grocery store

In the video above, you can see Coker walking down the dairy aisle. She stops in front of the milk, reaches in and grabs a carton. Soon after, two people rush over and look into her cart.

That’s when a man steps away while the woman in the white hat asks Coker a question, distracting her. The man then reaches into her purse, grabs her wallet and walks off.

“I didn’t realize it of course until I got to the checkout stand to go pay and noticed my wallet was gone. I told the checkout lady, ‘Oh my gosh I can’t pay for this my wallet has been taken.’ So, they call the manager and [someone] behind me offered to pay for my groceries,” Coker said.

The two then allegedly went to a Walmart and charged about $1,000 to her credit card within minutes.

“I was just sick. I just got sick to my stomach thinking somebody just reached into your purse to take something like that,” Coker said.

Store managers have said this isn’t the first time an issue like this has happened. Coker said store managers told her to start wearing cross body bags and making sure her purse is zipped or clipped shut.

If anyone recognizes the two people caught on surveillance footage, call the Brentwood Police Department.