SFO security cameras help catch purse thief

A 39-year-old convicted crook has been slapped with a 32-month jail sentence for snagging a purse packed with cash at a security checkpoint at San Francisco International Airport.

Charne Zackery was apparently unaware that security cameras were watching her on Dec. 10 as she grabbed the purse from a gray bin that had gone through the metal detector and brought it into a restroom, where she stole $3,000 in cash that was in it, authorities said.

The owner of the purse was in front of Zackery in the security line, according to court documents. The victim grabbed most of her belongings but forgot the purse as she exited the screening process, according to prosecutors in San Mateo County.

When she returned, the purse was gone — but not lost, cops said.

SFO has a hawk-eyed security system featuring more than 1,300 cameras throughout the airport. Security agents were able to check the video footage, watch Zackery walk off with the purse, and alert police, authorities said.

Zackery “was immediately uncooperative,” prosecutors said, but cops said they recovered the purse and the $3,000.

It was a second strike case for Zackery, who had been convicted of robbery in 1992. Zackery was sentenced to 32 months in state prison Friday. However, she will be credited for the 391 days of time she has already served while in custody on the theft charges, prosecutors said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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