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Ann Arbor mom of 3 tracks down, confronts suspect who allegedly stole her credit cards

Posted at 9:33 PM, Feb 11, 2024

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — This hectic story begins at the Trader Joe's in Ann Arbor where Julie Kobylarz was shopping with her family when someone stole her wallet out of her purse.

It ends at the Briarwood Mall after Kobylarz and her family learned the suspect was there.

“My heart sank when I noticed my wallet was gone and within maybe 10 minutes, I started getting these huge charges coming through at the Apple Store,” said Kobylarz.

Kobylarz says the person who stole her credit cards this past Sunday made a $2,000 purchase at the Apple Store inside Briarwood.

Kobylarz, her fiancé, Bryan Heckencamp, and their three children made their way to the mall after learning about the purchase.

“While we were making our report with the manager at the Apple Store, I had a Cash App notification come through and it said someone was trying to make a purchase at Vans, and Vans was right across the hall from the Apple Store,” Kobylarz added.

Kobylarz says she went into the Vans store and confronted the man who she believed had her cards.

“I said, 'where’s my wallet,' and he said, 'oh it’s right over here,' and he started trying to lead me out of the store then he started walking faster,” said Kobylarz.

Minutes after Kobylarz confronted the suspect, he started running from her, so she gave chase.

Not too far behind her at that time was her fiancé and three kids.

 “We ran through the food court, ran down one of the corridors of the mall chasing after the guy,” said Bryan Heckencamp.

Eventually, Heckencamp and a few bystanders were able to hold the suspect down until Ann Arbor police arrived.

Kobylarz says this was the third time in the past year someone has stolen from her.

 “I’m just so sick of being stolen from, I’m like this is not happening again. I’m going to get my stuff if I can,” said Kobylarz. “In hindsight, it might not have been the safest thing to do, but I knew that’s what had to be done if he was going to be caught."

The man who allegedly stole Kobylarz’s cards was formally charged earlier this week.

A spokesperson with Ann Arbor police says fortunately no one was hurt in this case, but they strongly urge community members not to confront potential suspects when it comes to stolen property.