Alleged husband-wife purse theft team arrested after return to Wal-Mart parking lot

2012-04-05T03:01:00Z 2012-04-05T07:18:55Z Alleged husband-wife purse theft team arrested after return to Wal-Mart parking lotBy HUEY FREEMAN - H&R Staff Writer Herald-Review.com
April 05, 2012 3:01 am  • 

DECATUR — A man and wife were arrested Tuesday on charges of burglary when they returned to the north-side Wal-Mart parking lot, despite the fact that they were wanted for stealing purses from two seniors in that lot the previous week.

The purse thefts from the vehicles March 27 and 30 were designated by Crime Stoppers as the Crime of the Week. Descriptions of the male suspect and the vehicle used in the crimes were widely publicized.

Police viewed surveillance videotape of the crimes, and an eyewitness gave police a description of the male suspect. That witness said a female was driving the vehicle the male left in after stealing a purse March 30.

About noon Tuesday, a Wal-Mart security officer called police and told them the suspects had returned.

When officers arrived at the parking lot, they found a couple inside a black sport utility vehicle.

Kelly L. Distasio, 32, and Christoph L. Distasio, 39, “admitted to stealing the purses” from vehicles on the lot on the two dates, according to a police affidavit. “Both gave details of the crime that only the suspects would know.”

About 2:15 p.m. March 27, a 78-year-old woman placed her purse on top of her groceries in her van’s back seat. While she returned her shopping cart to the corral, her purse was stolen. The purse was later recovered on a nearby street. It was missing $700, a debit card and a Social Security card.

On Friday morning, a 66-year-old woman put her purse in her trunk while she unloaded groceries into her trunk. An unknown male walking toward her distracted her. Then she noticed that her purse was missing. The victim reported that the purse contained $50, a credit card and her driver’s license.

A witness told police he saw a man leave the area and enter a black SUV driven by a female.

Kelly Distasio and Christoph Distasio admitted to police that they stole the purses, according to a police affidavit.

“Kelly and Christoph said this was done to support their heroin habit,” the officer wrote.

The Distasios are being held in the Macon County Jail. Her bond was set at $15,000; he is being held without bond. They are due in court for their arraignments within a week.

hfreeman@herald-review.com|421-6985

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