This is the shocking moment a female thief and fraudster was caught on CCTV snatching a handbag from a woman in front of shocked shoppers.
Footage shows Levi Galeford, 24, waiting behind the 62-year-old victim while she waited to pay for goods at a Co-Op supermarket.
When the woman put her handbag down on the till, Galeford grabbed it and attempted to run away but the victim refused to let go.
Galeford then tried to rip the bag from the woman’s grasp before being bundled out of the shop by security staff.
Jobless Galeford was jailed for six years at Birmingham Crown Court last Wednesday (15/11) after admitting robbery and fraud.
The court heard she also conned almost £2,000 from a vulnerable 66-year-old woman after telling her a string of fake sob stories.
She first met the woman in the car park of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on May 11, where she talked her into handing over £10.
It was the start of a prolonged campaign of emotional blackmail against the kind-hearted pensioner who Galeford went on to swindle out of almost £1,790.
She orchestrated a “chance meeting” at the hospital the following day and struck up conversation, claiming to be in a violent relationship and that she needed money to break free.
Her lies persuaded the victim, from West Heath, Birmingham, to part with £320 and they exchanged phone numbers.
Over the next few weeks Galeford arranged to meet the victim on six further occasions when she pocketed hundreds of pounds each time having said she couldn’t afford the deposit on a new flat.
West Midlands Police detectives secured CCTV showing Galeford chaperoning the victim to a building society on June 7 when the lady handed over £500.
Someone who recognised Galeford as the offender called police and she was arrested on September 24.
She went on to admit fraud by false representation, a distraction burglary on an 81-year-old woman, another count of fraud, robbery and attempted robbery.
Jobless Galeford also admitted a late night burglary on September 11 at the Northfield home of an 81-year-old woman.
On that ocassion she also posed as a victim of domestic abuse and asked for change for a bus ride but when the pensioner’s back was turned she swiped her purse.
She then went on to use the woman’s bank cards six times in the space of 15 minutes to buy cigarettes, petrol and food.
She also admitted grabbing £50 in cash from a cashier’s till at Boots in Middlemore Road, West Heath, on September 14 and trying to snatch a 62-year-old woman’s handbag in Co-Op in Turves Green, Northfield, the following day.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Gareth Beard from the West Midlands Police High Harm & Vulnerability Team, said: “There was no truth to Galeford’s emotional stories; they were invented with the sole purpose of tricking money out of this lady.
“She took advantage of the woman’s vulnerabilities and good nature…she pretty much used her as a cash machine whenever she wanted money.
“We had a fantastic response from our appeal for information and I’d like to thank everyone that took the time to get in touch.
“We’ve ensured that Galeford has been taken away from society for several years and no longer poses a danger.”