2 arrested for stealing woman's purse in Walgreens parking lot

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BRADENTON, FL. - Two people have been arrested after robbing a woman’s purse in a Walgreen’s parking lot.

It happened Sunday around 10:20 pm at the Walgreens at 2640 Cortez Road West.

Palmetto 25-year-old Alicia Sportelli of Bradenton.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Deborah Porter was approached by 25-year-old Alicia Sportelli in the parking lot. She was concerned for her well-being and while speaking to her, they began to pray. While Porter was praying, Sportelli all of a sudden ran away. Porter said noticed that her purse was stolen off her front passenger seat and a gold pickup was fleeing the scene with the female running away in an opposite direction.

While an investigation was being conducted, Sportelli came back to the scene and advised she didn't know who the male was in the truck or that he, 32-year-old Michael Baker, of was about to do anything. Lacking evidence, Sportelli was released from the scene.

Within minutes of Sportelli being released, a deputy was conducting surveillance in an area known for narcotics sales, when he observed a gold pickup drive by with the tag concealed by a piece of cloth to conceal the entire tag number. He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle for the violation, and found several items belonging to the victim, including the purse and prescription pills.

The suspects confessed they devised a plan to distract the victim, while Baker stole the purse.

Baker was charged with: Burglary of a conveyance, Conspiracy to commit Burglary to a conveyance, Trafficking in Prescription pills, Grand Theft and possession of stolen debit card.

Sportelli was charged with: Principle to Burglary of a conveyance, Conspiracy to commit burglary, Trafficking in Prescription pills, Grand theft and possession of stolen debit card.

Sportelli has been to prison twice. Once for Robbery and was recently released in May 2012 after being convicted of 4 counts of obtaining Prescription by fraud. Baker is a convicted felon.