'Tis the season: Police warn about lurking purse thieves

'Tis the season: Police warn about lurking purse thieves

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An Elizabethton man is charged with stealing a purse belonging to a woman who accidentally left it in a Walmart shopping cart.

Police say Chad Matherly, 55, Mercedes Drive, spotted the forgotten purse in a shopping cart, took it, and drove away.
"The victim drove off with her purse still in her shopping cart," said Captain Joy Markland, Elizabethton Police.   "She realized it and turned around.  And that quickly her purse had been taken out of her shopping cart."

Capt. Markland said detectives were able to recover a majority of the victim's personal property at Matherly's home.
Matherly was charged with theft over $1,000 and taken to the Carter County Jail.  He's scheduled to appear in the Carter County General Sessions Court on January 10, 2014. 

Police urge shoppers to be alert to the potential for becoming a victim of a similar crime.    "We just ask and encourage people to be mindful of their personal belongings," said Capt. Markland.

Elizabethton Police announced Matherly's arrest just before a planned News Channel 11 "Monday's Most Wanted" segment focusing on the crime.   Watch the video to see the full report.
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