A thief grabbed the purse of an off-duty Polk County deputy Saturday evening, but also got the officer’s weapon.
The deputy was entering the Publix, 884 Cypress Gardens Blvd., in Winter Haven, about 6:55 p.m. when a black man took the purse, according to the sheriff’s office. The suspect fled in a bright silver small size SUV, possibly a Mazda or Toyota hatchback-style vehicle, and headed south on 8th Street S.E.
The thief also got the deputy's department badge and credentials, along with a .38-caliber Ruger that was in its holster, according to the sheriff’s office.
The suspect is described as a black male, about 5-foot-8, with short hair. He was wearing red athletic shorts, a gray T-shirt, white socks and gray sneakers. He also had a black head covering, either a ball cap or sticking cap, the sheriff’s office said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477).