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Video: Pickpocket team appears to target mom at Oceanside restaurant

Video: Pickpocket team appears to target mom at Oceanside restaurant
Posted at 4:57 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 20:34:20-05

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - An Oceanside man has a warning after after his wife's wallet disappeared while she was dining out with her young children.

For Tim Clermont, the surveillance video is hard to watch.

“My wife feels violated, and I feel violated for her,” said Clermont.

Last Friday night, just past 6:30 p.m., video shows her sitting on the patio of an Oceanside restaurant during a night out with a friend.

On her lap is her two-year-old son. In the chair next to her is her four-year-old son.

“Because he's so small, he’s sitting on the front of the chair, and she puts her purse behind him ,” said Clermont.

Clermont's wife had just used her wallet to pay for the food. Minutes after she sat down at the table, two females walk in and grab the table behind her. Clermont believes one of them is a teenager. The older woman does something odd.

“She starts bumping my wife's seat. She would get up and then get back, and start bumping her seat,” said Clermont.

In the video, the older woman motions to her companion, who appears to says something back to her.

“She's indicating to her accomplice to basically go for it,” said Clermont

The older woman then makes her move. She takes a piece of clothing and covers part of the chair being used by Clermont's son.

“So when she pulls the clothing back, she rests it on the table, and under the clothing is what I believe is my wife's wallet,” said Clermont.

Soon after, the two abruptly left. Within about 20 minutes, Clermont's wife started getting fraud alerts on her phone.

“By then, they’re already in Best Buy trying to buy stuff,” said Clermont.

A look inside his wife’s purse revealed her wallet was gone. Because police haven't named the two females as suspects in a crime, we aren't showing their faces.

“They were preying on the fact that my wife was preoccupied with kids at the table,” said Clermont.

“I think they knew what they were going to do even before they saw my wife. Once they saw the opportunity, they jumped on it,” said Clermont.

The thieves tried to charge $9,000 worth of items. Her credit card company stopped all but $500 in charges.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, and they haven't had any other similar reports.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Oceanside Police Department at 760-435-4900.

A police spokesperson sent ABC 10News the following suggestions:

“Always keep personal items close. Purses are recommended to be worn in front of the body. Refrain from placing purses or personal items in shopping carts or on chairs. Never leave wallets or purses in your vehicle. Pay especially close attention to your personal items at large gatherings.”