A veteran Florida prosecutor is facing misdemeanor theft charges after she allegedly hid $42 worth of beauty products in her purse while grocery shopping at a Publix in Aventura.
Broward County Assistant State Attorney Stacey Beth Honowitz, 56, was arrested Saturday after she was caught on surveillance cameras concealing three beauty products worth $42.93 at the grocery store at 18995 Biscayne Boulevard, according to an Aventura police report. The report said Honowitz also purchased groceries totaling $124.16.
A loss prevention officer stopped her when she exited the store, the report said.
Honowitz has been a prosecutor for three decades and is a supervisor in her office's sex crimes and child abuse unit. She has also written books for children about abuse and frequently appears as a commentator on television.
A spokesperson for the 17th Judicial Circuit said Monday that Honowitz has been suspended, using paid vacation time, while the case is investigated.
Honowitz's attorney, Jayne Weintraub, says the incident was an honest mistake, and there was no intent to commit a crime.
"She inadvertently did not pay for the cosmetics when she checked out and paid for her $130 groceries. She did not even leave the store after she paid. She then purchased lottery tickets and was chatting with another customer. There was no intent to commit a crime at all,” said Weintraub said.
Honowitz was given a notice to appear in court for the misdemeanor charge.