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CAPTURED: Suspect accused of stealing woman’s wallet while grandson sat in her grocery cart

CAPTURED — King County Sheriff’s detectives say Jeffrey Gouveia was arrested by Puyallup Tribal Police.  Pierce County Sheriff’s detectives say a security guard at BJ’s Bingo in Fife recognized Gouveia from Washington’s Most Wanted and notified Puyallup Tribal Police.

He was wanted for multiple theft cases and officers say he tried to give them a fake name,

He was transferred to the King County jail where he is being held without bail for Theft 1, Theft 2 and charge in Tacoma for ID Theft 2nd degree.

WANTED IN BURIEN —
Guys like this are the reason you should always protect your purse and pocketbook while you’re grocery shopping.

Take a good look at him from the surveillance video and see if you recognize his face or maybe that tattoo on his neck.

King County Sheriff’s deputies need your help to find him because he stole a grandmother’s wallet while her young grandson was sitting in her grocery cart.

We’re not sharing Michelle’s last name for safety after a quick stop for some frozen dinners at the Grocery Outlet in Burien last week turned into a nightmare. “This guy reached into my cart not once, but twice with my four-year-old grandson inside and stole my wallet. I feel scared.”

She screamed for help when she realized it was gone and the store quickly showed her who took it. “Shocked. I would have never thought in a million years. He looks like a normal guy, like a construction worker.

Deputies say the video shows he was there that day for one reason — to steal, not to shop. The crook kept looking back at Michelle as he paced around. You can tell he was just waiting to strike, even coming over to have a look inside her cart. “Extremely creepy to know that he was that close to my grandson, as well.

Data pix.

At one point, he grabbed something off the shelf to up appearances before finally making his move -- snatching Michelle's wallet and then walking back to the aisle where he threw the grocery item back on the shelf and then quickly walked towards the front of the store.

"Our hope is that we can get his picture out there and somebody's got to know who this guy is,” said King County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Abbott.

Michelle has a message for the suspect. "We're going to catch you. You're going to go away. You are not going to run around and victimize anyone else. You have my word on this."

Michelle has spent hours trying to replace all of her stolen ID's, credit and debit cards. She is also struggling with the emotional trauma of knowing the suspect has her family's personal information. "I haven't slept maybe three or four hours every day because of this. I'm scared this guy is going to show up. I don't know what this guy is capable of."

Deputies say what happened to her is a good reminder to all women. “If you, for some reason, need to leave your cart, take your purse with you and make sure it's zipped-up, because those are two of the common things we see. People will reach in and grab a wallet outside of an open purse and then the second thing is they will just try to take off with the whole purse and leave quickly,” said Sgt. Abbott.

And it's warning Michelle hopes other women will heed. "We're just all too trusting and we're not paying attention to the surroundings around us.

The store has really great surveillance cameras, so there's no doubt someone knows who the thief is. He's had sunglasses on his head and wore a plaid, green and white shirt with some jeans.

If you know his name, use the P3 Tips App on your smart phone that you can download for free to submit the information to Crime Stoppers, or call the hot line at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477). It’s anonymous – you never give your name – and you’ll get a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip helps lead to his arrest.

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