Aventura, FL – Police have released security footage that allegedly shows a high-profile Florida prosecutor shoplifting beauty items from a Publix grocery store (video below).
Assistant State Attorney Stacey Honowitz, 56, prosecutes cases against child molesters and rapists, and has made frequent television appearances as a legal analyst, the Miami Herald reported.
She has also authored two children’s books on sexual abuse.
As Honowitz was shopping at the Aventura Publix store with her teenage daughter on Saturday, security cameras captured her casually browsing through the cosmetics aisle.
The video showed the prosecutor, dressed in white, as she tucked something into her purse and continued strolling along.
Honowitz later paid for over $120 in groceries, then got into another line to purchase a lottery ticket, the Sun Sentinel reported.
She then opened her purse to fish out payment for the second cashier, leaving the other items tucked inside.
A manager observed the incident on the store’s surveillance system, and security stopped Honowitz immediately after she and her daughter exited the supermarket, WSVN reported.
Inside her purse, employees recovered $42.93 in merchandise, and contacted the police, according to the Miami Herald.
She was cited for retail theft, and signed a notice to appear in Miami-Dade court.
Honowitz, who has served the State’s Attorney’s Office for nearly 30 years, was suspended from her job on Monday pending an administrative review, the Sun Sentinel reported.
She earns a base annual salary of $108,000.
A Broward State’s Attorney spokesperson told the Miami Herald that Honowitz will be using vacation leave until the investigation is complete.
“We have been made aware of the incident by the prosecutor. She has been suspended pending an administrative review. She will be utilizing her vacation time until we complete the investigation,” spokeswoman Constance Simmons confirmed.
Honowitz’s attorney, Jayne Weintraub, said that the incident was nothing more than an “honest mistake.”
“She inadvertently did not pay for the cosmetics when she checked out and paid for her $130.00 groceries,” Weintraub said in a statement, according to the Miami Herald. “There was no intent to commit a crime at all.”
Weintraub claimed that Honowitz did not leave the store, but surveillance footage contradicted her claim.
You can watch surveillance footage of the incident in the video below: