Prosecutor Stacey Honowitz is suspect shoplifting $43 worth of products from a Florida supermarket.
A Florida prosecutor who oversees cases against sexual predators is facing shoplifting charges after surveillance video caught her wiping $43 worth of cosmetics from a supermarket, police said.
Stacey Honowitz, 56, was suspended from her $108,000-a-year job as a Broward County assistant state attorney pending an investigation and was charged with misdemeanor theft, the Sun Sentinel reported.
Security images released by the Aventura Police Department shows Honowitz shopping with her parents and daughter on Saturday at a Publix supermarket in the small city 20 miles north of Miami.
Broward State Attorney’s Office prosecutor arrested for alleged shoplifting at Publix in Aventura https://t.co/LgkzOid0Ks pic.twitter.com/JFEYzoBhWL
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) September 17, 2018
She is seen browsing the cosmetics aisle, placing the beauty products in her bag. Later paid a cashier $125 for groceries and then got in line to purchase a lottery ticket.
A manager confronted Honowitz and they gave up on the alleged stolen property, the Miami Herald reported.
“They should not have done,” a shopper told FOX affiliate WSVN-TV in Miami. “She is on the help of the law, and she is also shoplifting? That is certainly not to make sense.”
Honowitz was not more in the public. Instead, she received a summons to appear in a Miami-Dade County court.
She was suspended from work and take the time until the case is resolved, a Broward State Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said the Herald.
“We have been made aware of the incident by the public prosecutor. She has been suspended pending a board of directors. She will be using her vacation time until we are finished with the investigation,” said spokeswoman Constance Simmons.
Honowitz’s lawyer, Jayne Weintraub, calling the incident a “mistake” and that her client simply forgot to pay for the items.
“After watching the video confirms what we have said,” Weintraub said. “They put the lipstick and mascara in her purse and intended to pay it and forget it. They had it in the cart, it would have fallen through the cracks of the cart. They had the intention of paying and just forgot.”
The veteran prosecutor was the supervisor of the sex crimes and child abuse unit where she was interrupted and has been involved in several high-profile cases, WSVN reported.
Over her 30-year career, Honowitz built a reputation as a tenacious prosecutor and advocate for victims rights, according to the Sun Sentinel.
“She is highly regarded and respected in the legal community for her fairness and professionalism,” former prosecutor David Frankel, who has known Honowitz for more than 30 years, told the newspaper. “She is never afraid to fight for the rights of children in an area that most people would rather not know anything about. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of children that are safer and whose lives are better because of her.”
She is the author of two self-published children’s books about sexual abuse, and routinely appears as a legal analyst on cable television shows to discuss crime stories.
Five years ago she appeared in a Miami courtroom, when her brother was arrested on theft and forgery charges. During the hearing, she said her job at different times, the Herald reported.
The court freed her brother from prison.
“I went there as a loving sister,” Honowitz said to the Miami Herald at the time. “I just happened to be one of the officer of justice. This is a terrible ordeal.”