MUST SEE VIDEO: Brazen shoplifter caught in the act

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- The owner of Mint Julep Market has taken to Facebook and YouTube to help catch a shoplifter.

UPDATE: Someone returned the stolen purse on Monday, Dec. 15. Police are investigating a lead.

Store surveillance cameras caught the whole thing, including a decent angle of the alleged shoplifter's face.

In a brazen act, the woman appears to take a purse, stuff it into her own bag and get away with the theft.

"We could not believe it," said Hillary Dunham, owner of Mint Julep Market.  "It's just clear as day."

The bag was a hand-sewn tan leather purse from Turkey valued at $200.  Dunham says this is one of the pricier items in the store.

To make matters worse, all this went down right in front of a sign on the wall that clearly discourages shoplifting.  Pretty sneaky.

But then again, so is Dunham.  She and her husband put four videos of the thief up on YouTube and Facebook.

"I thought, hmmm, I guess this is just the best thing to do," she said, "to tell our friends about it."

The post has since gone viral with more than a thousand shares in one night.

"It really is astounding," said Dunham.

She's crediting the virality to her loyal customers and friends who support the business which has been open since October 2013.  In all that time, she says this kind of petty crime has never before happened there.

"Ultimately, we would like the merchandise to be returned," said Dunham.

She has already told Huntsville Police about the incident and an investigator has been assigned to the case.  Dunham, along with others at the shop, hope their online videos can help identify the thief.

To see if you can help, click the video above.

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