More distracted shoppers targeted by thieves

San Diego Police have identified a second “crew” of thieves targeting shoppers at area Whole Foods Stores.

10News was the first to report on the two men and a woman seen in surveillance videos stealing wallets from shoppers, but police are now sharing video and still photos of four other people who are doing the same thing.

Police say the second crew follows the same routine as the first.  They scope out women who’ve left their purses in their shopping carts as they make their grocery selections, oblivious to the criminals who quickly snatch their belongings.

Detectives say on March 21, as a woman was placing an order at the meat counter of the La Jolla Whole Foods, two women acted as if they, too, wanted assistance from the butcher.  On the surveillance video it appears that one woman is trying to block the view of the shopper while another drapes a shawl over the cart and comes away with the wallet.  

A third suspect, who has been involved in other thefts, was a look-out, according to police.  That person has short, cropped hair, and may be a man or a woman.  The fourth suspect in the crew is a man, who may be the getaway driver, say police.

The suspects left Whole Foods in a dark colored 4-door sedan and drove to the Target store on Balboa Avenue, where police say they purchased gift cards with the victim’s stolen credit cards.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case. You can reach the anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477 or send an e-mail to www.sdcrimestoppers.com.

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