Crime Stoppers: Friday the 13th Bandit caught on camera!

10:11 PM, Sep 3, 2010   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Just call him the Friday the 13th bandit.

He thought Lady Luck was on his side back on August 13th.

Tampa Police say the savvy-dressed shopper tried to blend in with other people in Dillard's at International Plaza.

And he did for a while.

The young man in his 20s was in a white button-down shirt with a tie and khaki pants. He was talking on his cell phone.

It was 2:00 in the afternoon, and he looked like any other shopper.

Just one problem.

He was carrying a huge Disney bag. Normally, that wouldn't be an issue.

But, International Plaza doesn't have a Disney store. The bag he was using to commit his crime was the very bag that gave him away, police tell us.

"Managers knew something was wrong," said Detective Harry Augello with Tampa Police. "One of them tried to confront him. She was doing her job, and he took off running."

Another distinctive clue: the young man was with a woman who was six feet tall. They were just inside the door in the women's section.

Police say the man simply pulled some blouses off the rack, folded them over and shoved them in his bag.

And he's caught on camera doing it.

Prior to being in the women's section, the duo was in the men's section stealing Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, cops say.

"Someone gave him his marching orders, gave him a list, told him what to get, and he got it," says Detective Augello.

Police are hoping you recognize the young man and the tall, African American woman who, cops say, drove the getaway car.

After the young man was confronted by a manager, he dropped his bag and ran through the double glass doors to an awaiting Silver Dodge Charger.

The two got away, but not before leaving their faces all over surveillance cameras.

If you recognize them, you could receive up to $1,000 in reward money for turning them in anonymously.

Melanie Brooks, 10 News

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