Theft at Marshall flower shop may be connected to Ottawa County thefts

Posted at 7:46 PM, Oct 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 20:23:51-04

MARSHALL, Mich. — Last Tuesday was a busy day at the Flower Haus for Penny Jump. She and her team of florists were preparing flowers for a funeral that afternoon. She was also tending to two women who wanted to taste wine in her shop.

Twenty minutes after they left, Jump noticed her wallet was missing.

“I was distracted and we were really busy that day with funeral work,” said Jump during an interview at her shop. “I was up front a lot and I have no idea when it happened.”

Jump said she remembers the women tasting wine and then one of them having to use the restroom. Jump thought the woman was sick but the other lady assured her she was fine. So, Jump returned to preparing flowers in the front of the store. Her purse was in the back in the wine shop.

“About 20 minutes after they left probably I was called to the funeral home to meet with the family,” said Jump. “And I grabbed my purse and my wallet was gone.”

Jump was devastated, she said. She checked her purse thoroughly. Then called her husband to see if he knew where it was. She thought she’d lost it.

“By the time I left the funeral home to come back here the credit card had already called,” said Jump. “They’d used it at Target and Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond and Staples and Walgreens.”

They spent $900 within an hour, Jump said. In fact, if the credit card company hadn’t called they would have spent $2,000. She immediately filed a report and the deputy on the case has surveillance photos of the women leaving a few of the stores. She doesn’t know much about them. But she said they were around 5’7 and heavy set.

By Friday morning, she received phone call from her delivery driver that changed everything.

“He’s the one that called me this morning and said ‘Hey you got to watch this news clipping and said it’s the same women that were there that day,” said Jump who watched it immediately. “Sure enough, I’m sure it is.”

FOX 17 reported Thursday night that authorities in Ottawa County were searching for two women in connection to a string of thefts. She recognized the faces in the surveillance video and believes they may be the ones who stole her wallet.

“It’s the weirdest feeling,” said Jump. “I just feel like I’ve been violated, angry. I’m here working, trying to make a living and, you know, it just really, it’s really awful.

Jump has owned the Flower Haus for 15 years and said she’s never had an problem like this. She’d leave her purse everywhere in the stored nothing happened. Now, she’s careful about where she sets it down, always keeping a watchful eye on it.

“Customers have walked in here before and said 'There’s a purse back there,'” said Jump. “And I’m going ‘Yeah I know, it’ll be okay.’ It’s not okay. You know, keep your purse out of sight, locked up.”