New York News

Woman catches thief by following her insticts

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It was like finding a needle in a haystack on Fifth Avenue in Midtown this week, but 24-year-old Dina Wohlhendler wasn't going to let her wallet get away from her when it was stolen.

"I was thinking to myself, I have eight credit cards, a lot of cash, and a driver's license in there. That's going to be a lot of hassle to close, re-open," Wohlhendler said.

So, after considering the sheer bureaucracy of it all, Dina was energized when she got an alert on her cell phone from Chase saying someone had just used her debit card to buy more than $200 of stuff from the Urban Outfitters store at 43rd Street.

"So I ran there. I go in, I ask the cashiers if they remember anything, if they saw anybody that used the credit card for over one hundred dollars, they don't know," Wohlhendler said.

From this point on it was pure instinct that led Dina to the Best Buy up the block.

"Electronics, a lot of money, that's where I would go. Just instinct," Wohlhendler said.

Her instincts were right.

She saw a woman at the counter, buying a cell phone.

"I'm like, that's a big-ticket item, I'm going to go just take a peek," Wohlhendler said.

Sure enough, it's Dina's name on the debit card!

That's when she says she confronted 50-year-old Twanda Deckard, snapped a photo, and Deckard started talking.

"Her story starts changing, no there was a mix-up, you put your stuff in my purse, that's how it got there," Wohlhendler.

Sources now say Deckard has a long history of crimes; dozens of prior arrests dating back 30 years and at least 14 of them involve identity theft.

Dina says Deckard also didn't hesitate to hurl an anti-Semitic insult, either.

"Basically like, I'm Muslim, you're Jewish, why can't we just let it go? I know because you are all greedy people," Wohlhendler said.

Keeping her composure, Dina waited for the police who praised her.

"One officer sort of jokingly handed me his shield and said thanks for doing my job," Wohlhendler said.

She nabbed a convicted felon in the process.

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Tags:
new york city, midtown, theft, new york news, stacey sager
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