A veteran prosecutor in Florida was caught stealing beauty products at a supermarket as she shopped with her teenage daughter, police said.
Security footage released Tuesday by police in Aventura shows Broward County Assistant State Attorney Stacey Honowitz browsing in a cosmetics aisle with her daughter at a Publix on Saturday when she placed several items in her purse, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
Honowitz was later seen paying a cashier for $124 in groceries and waiting in line to buy lottery tickets, but was stopped from leaving the store with her daughter by a security guard and a store employee, according to the footage.
Employees at the store called police and responding officers charged Honowitz with misdemeanor theft for trying to steal three beauty products worth about $42, according to an arrest report obtained by WSVN.
Police said the incident marked Honowitz’s first arrest. She has since been suspended from her job, which pays her $108,000 annually.
“We have been made aware of the incident by the prosecutor,” a spokesperson for the Broward State Attorney’s Office told the station. “She has been suspended pending an administrative review.”
Honowitz, a 30-year veteran of the Florida State Attorney’s Office, has worked as a supervisor in the Sex Crimes/Child Abuse division. She also regularly appears as a legal commentator on television and has written books for children about sexual abuse, according to her website.
“She’s a tenacious litigator who has prosecuted high profile cases in South Florida,” the site reads. “When she isn’t putting bad guys behind bars, Honowitz works to educate parents and children about child molestation and the importance of reporting abuse as the first step to healing.”
Honowitz did not immediately return a message seeking comment early Wednesday, but her attorney, Jayne Weintraub, claims the prosecutor “inadvertently did not pay” for the cosmetics when she paid for her groceries.
Weintraub said Honowitz “simply forgot” about the three items — lipstick, mascara and a cream — when it came time to pay and didn’t leave the store after paying for her groceries.
“This was a simple act of forgetfulness,” Weintraub told The Post. “This is just like putting a case of water beneath your cart and forgetting to pay. She had absolutely no intent to commit a crime.”
Other customers at the supermarket, however, said they were dumbfounded by the allegations.
“She shouldn’t have done that,” one shopper told WSVN. “She’s helping the law, and she’s also shoplifting? That definitely does not make sense.”
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