Suspect wanted in wallet, purse thefts taken into custody

Jan. 25, 2019 Update: Renton police say 60-year-old Jeffrey S. Gouveia, who is suspected of stealing from women in their 70s to one who was 91 years old, was arrested on Friday.

Renton polcie tweeted that they located Gouveia in Fife.

After a brief chase on food, he was taken into custody.

Gouveia will be booked for two counts of identity theft and three counts of theft on Renton cases.

Our previous coverage below:

Police from Renton to Puyallup are calling 60-year-old Jeffrey S. Gouveia a “predator of the elderly.” Detectives say he’s been seen on grocery store surveillance video preying on vulnerable senior women, stealing wallets and purses out of their shopping carts.

Renton police identified the suspect Thursday, saying he's stolen from women in their 70s to one victim who is 91.

In 2007, KIRO 7 covered a similar police search for Gouveia when he was seen on video stealing wallets and purses from elderly women in grocery stores, the same way. Court records indicate he has been arrested multiple times since, for theft, drugs, eluding police and resisting arrest.

Detective Robert Onishi says vulnerable seniors can suffer far more damage from this crime beyond the loss of a purse.

“This can be something that totally changes their lives,” Onishi said. “It devastates and leaves them unable to think about going back out because they worry that they're no longer capable of taking care of themselves, and that's something that you hate to see somebody take away."

Onishi asks anyone with information to call Renton police at 425-430-7500, and reference cases 18-13793 and 18-15647.