They went to Chuck E Cheese’s restaurant to celebrate her son’s seventh birthday. Instead of having fond memories of a great event, Mandie Harrington is trying to figure out why a five-year-old girl stole her purse.

Harrington was celebrating the birthday with family and friends at the Chuck E Cheese’s restaurant on East 82nd Street. When the kids went to play the adults followed, leaving behind their coats, valuables and their purses.

Metro Police say surveillance video clearly shows a young woman directing a girl who appears to be about 5 years old to go under the Harrington’s table and steal a purple purse.

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“I’m much more offended that she had a little girl steal it than I am that it was stolen. I mean obviously I want my money and my camera back. It’s horrible that she taught a little girl that it was okay to steal,” Harrington said.

Investigators say the video clearly shows the woman grabbing the stolen purse from the child and running out the door. Within hours, Harrington says the suspect was making phone calls on the cell phone that was inside the purse. Harrington gave police a log of the calls made by the thief.

“One of them is to a cell phone in Muncie. One’s a landline in Indianapolis and a landline in Gary. They’re really short and then they call back and she checks my voicemail.”

Angry and frustrated best describes Harrington as she worries about the valuable personal papers that were inside her purse.

She hopes Metro police get a copy of the surveillance video soon, so they can release it. She hopes someone can identify the suspect.


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