Dina Wohlhendler,24, was ready to shrug off her missing wallet as a “must’ve left it in the office” gaffe, but an alert from her bank about a suspicious $211 charge at a nearby Urban Outfitters flipped her “detective badass” switch. After running to the UA (no dice–cashiers couldn’t remember anyone in particular) and scanning the streets for a UA bag, Wohlhendler noticed a Best Buy a block north and ducked in on instinct. Standing at the cashier’s desk: a woman buying a cell phone with a UA bag. Wohlhendler came closer, saw her own name on the card the woman was using, and started yelling. A strange shouting match and NYPD intervention later (in which the suspect’s story unraveled with inconsistencies) and Wohlhendler sent the walletnapper on the long road to justice. “One of the officers jokingly handed me his shield and thanked me for doing his job,” Wohlhendler told Voz Iz Neias.
Things Wohlhendler did right:
1. Turned on bank alerts for suspicious charges–easy to do and you can set the threshold. Bonus: instant guilt when you’ve gone on a spending spree over said threshold.
2. Pump the locals for information–no matter what level of coffee deprivation the retail cashiers were suffering, crime trips the weirdness alarms. People notice things.
3. Follow your gut–the suspect was on a spending spree, why wouldn’t she duck into an electronics haven?
4. Confidently swoop in for the kill–when you know you’re in the right, make a fucking scene and let the cops shake it out. Pushing people outside their comfort zones breaks their conviction.