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Police warn about leaving purses in shopping carts

Police are warning people about the dangers of leaving purses or wallets in shopping carts.

On Wednesday, three women worked together to distract a woman and steal her wallet from her purse. The Santa Barbara resident says her purse was in her shopping cart and only an arm-length away when the crime happened.

Within an hour, the victim’s credit cards and identification had been used at a local Chase Bank branch to empty her bank account. Police say the suspects also attempted to make a large purchase at the local Apple Store.

The suspects in this crime are still unknown and at-large.

Police say this MO is well known to law enforcement nationwide and that it is usually difficult to identify and apprehend suspects.

In most situations, the suspect selects a potential victim, secures their wallet or purse, passes it off to an accomplice in the parking lot who then assumes the identity of the victim for a brief period of time to use their credit cards, checks, and access bank accounts all the while deflecting questions from bank and store employees.

Police say all this can happen within an hour of the suspect stealing your wallet or purse.

Police recommend only to take the cash, bank card, or credit card needed to make your purchase and to keep it on your person at all times. Wear a small purse with a strap that can be worn on your body when you shop.

If you feel someone is uncomfortably close to you or is unusually attentive to your activity, move from the area and report it to store employees.

If you believe you have been the victim of a crime, immediately report the incident to your local law enforcement.

Article Topic Follows: News

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