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$2,800 In Cash Stolen From Busy Wayne Shopper's Purse, Security Video Leads To Arrest

Elayne Santana
Elayne Santana Photo Credit: WAYNE PD

Store video helped identify a woman who stole $2,800 in cash from an unsuspecting shopper’s purse, Wayne police said.

The victim had left the purse unattended while shopping at the Burlington Coat Factory on Hamburg Turnpike, Detective Capt. Dan Daly explained.

Officer Daniel Mc Dermott reviewed store video with security and saw two women “hovering near the victim while she was trying on shoes,” Daly said.

One of them grabbed the purse while the shopper wasn’t looking and walked away, the captain said.

“She removed items from the purse while the other female stood by, apparently acting as a lookout,” he said.

The thief grabbed an envelope full of the cash, then tossed the purse in a store aisle, Daly said.

Using records subpoenaed from the store, Detective Patrick Wlazel identified her as Elayne Santana, 36, of Paterson, he said.

He charged her with theft after she confessed, the captain said.

Originally from the Dominican Republic, the mother of two was released on a summons under New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law.

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