Purse snatcher faces multiple charges
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (WSVN) -- A man accused of stealing an elderly woman's purse in broad daylight was already behind bars when a witness singled him out from a photo lineup.
Jefferson Montenegro stood before a judge Tuesday morning at bond court and did not even seem to know the woman police said he stole from on March 24 in Downtown Coral Gables. "I'm being accused of robbing who?" the alleged aggressor asked the judge.
Eighty-one-year old Hortensina Alonso said she is still quite shaken by the incident. "It's such an ugly thing, such an ugly thing to do," she said, speaking through a translator. The elderly woman had her purse was snatched Sunday afternoon in a parking lot located on the 100 block of Giralda Avenue in Coral Gables.
Surveillance cameras captured Montenegro getting into a white sedan, Alonso's purse in hand. "He defeated me," Alonso said when asked to describe how Montenegro was able to overpower her. "Everyday I would think about the purse snatching, not because of the purse, but because of the way they took it from me," she said.
Authorities did not have to look far after a witness identified the alleged robber days after the incident. Ironically, Montenegro was already in jail by that time. He had been arrested for failing to appear in court on a separate charge.
Montenegro has multiple burglary, theft, battery, drug possession and false identification charges, in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, stemming back to 2003. The latest crime he has been accused of occurred on a weekend when Coral Gables Police saw two snatchings take place one day apart.
On Saturday, March 23, a Turkish tourist was scarred and bruised when she tried to retrieve her passport from her stolen purse. She was dragged as she tried to hold on to the getaway car. The following Tuesday, an armed robbery rocked Miracle Mile. Both incidents are currently under investigation. No arrests have been made.
Police said the investigation into the Giralda Avenue purse snatching is still open because they are still looking for Montenegro's accomplice. If you gave any information as to who may have been driving the getaway car, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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