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Purse thieves are still on the loose authorities say

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

Two women who stole a purse from a Walmart parking lot are still on the loose, according to Chiefland officials.

Phyllis Mudget, 76, Newberry, said, in a phone interview last week, she forgot her purse and left it in a cart in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter in Chiefland on Sept. 14. Mudget, the great-grandmother of 24 children, said she and her husband had driven off and didn’t realize the purse was missing until much later, but by then, she said, it was too late.

“They made me mad,” she said about the thieves who she described as “two short, very fat blondes.”

Mudget’s description of the thieves comes from video surveillance tapes showing the suspects making off with the purse, she said.

Mudget, who makes monthly trips to the store from Newberry, said the thieves have returned a few items, like her driver’s license, by mail.

However, she said area law enforcement have pictures of the thieves trying to use her credit cards in stores located in several nearby counties.  And the thieves still have her purse.

“I have a lipstick in there I’ve had since 1970,” she said.

Mudget said she wouldn’t press charges if all the items, including the purse, were returned before the two women are arrested.

Chiefland Chief of Police Robert Douglas said the Chiefland Police Department has identified two suspects in connection with the theft.

Douglas, as of Friday of last week, said he’s in the process of trying to get a warrant issued for the arrests of the suspects and could not officially identify them by name.

“We’ve done everything that we can, “ he said.  “Unfortunately, when you turn your head or you get distracted, people can take advantage of you.”