Pickpockets allegedly stealing wallets from unsuspecting shoppers

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by Cleve Bryan, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 19 at 6:21 PM

NEWPORT NEWS-- Authorities are asking for help to catch a pair of pickpockets preying on women in grocery stores.

Police believe the thieves stole the wallets from two unsuspecting shoppers' purses earlier this month.

A 69-year-old Virginia Beach woman was shopping in WalMart on Jefferson Avenue in Newport News on March 3, when she says she was approached by a woman who asked her for help finding ingredients for a healthy meal.

“I turned around and I said 'could I help you' and she said 'Yes, I am fixing a meal for a friend that's been sick,'” says Ilaine Hooker.  She said the woman asked her several questions before Hooker finally broke away to pay for her groceries.

When Hooker got to the check-out she realized her purse was unzipped and her wallet was gone. 

Walmart security checked out surveillance and saw a man allegedly grab the wallet while the woman distracted Hooker.

The York County Sheriff’s Office thinks the same thieves could be responsible for ripping off a woman in Williamsburg on the same day.

They say the victim was shopping at Farm Fresh on Merrimac Trail when one suspect distracted a shopper and the other took the wallet from her purse.

Authorities say the suspects then went to the Williamsburg Best Buy and purchased $3,867 worth of merchandise using the victim's credit card.

If you recognize the suspects, should call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
 

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