By Jim Clark
A Somerville Police officer working a security detail at Market Basket last Sunday afternoon was approached by a woman who said that her purse had been stolen while she was inside the store, according to reports.
The woman reportedly told the officer that her pocketbook and purse had been taken out of her shopping basket as she was selecting chicken from a kiosk in the store, although she did not see who did it.
The officer then arranged to view video acquired by the store’s security system in order to ascertain who the culprit might be.
On the video, the officer reportedly observed the victim approaching the chicken kiosk, followed closely by another woman who was also pushing a shopping cart.
As the victim stopped at the kiosk and turned her attention to the roasted chickens in the kiosk, the suspect, later identified as Jacqueline Bowman, 57, of Hyde Park, reportedly stopped alongside the victim and slid her own purse down her arm in order to hide what she was doing.
The officer said that he observed Bowman on tape reach into the kiosk and remove a chicken, which she reportedly used to conceal the victim’s purse that she had removed from the victim’s shopping cart.
Bowman then reportedly left the area, rolling her shopping carriage down an aisle, and eventually hid the purse behind a box of diapers on a store shelf, having allegedly removing $69 from the bag beforehand.
The officer caught up with Bowman and escorted her to the store manager’s office where she was told that her actions had been observed on the security camera system, police said.
Loose currency amounting to $69 was found in Bowman’s pocketbook during a subsequent search, as well as some other cash that was found in a different pocketbook.
The victim’s purse was returned to her, but the missing cash was tagged for evidence.
Bowman was placed under arrest and charged with larceny from a person.