Pickpocket team targeting women, wallets

Posted at 11:42 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 02:42:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A pickpocket team posing as a friendly couple has been targeting women and stealing their purses.

At least three separate women have described eerily similar crimes, taking place in Mission Valley and Mission Hills.

Alison Herr said it started for her on Saturday when she was shopping at the Vonns on Washington Street. Herr said the couple approached her, acting friendly while trying to distract her.

“A woman kind of started making small talk with me at the cheese counter,” Herr said. “She kept pointing at cheeses and having me look at them so it made sense.”

During that time, Herr said an accomplice snatched her wallet, containing her credit and debit cards, social security card, zoo card and other personal documents.

Within an hour, Herr said she began getting alerts about massive charges at high-end stores in Fashion Valley, such as Luis Vuitton, Prada and Microsoft.

“$6,000, $8,000 and $3,000 dollars,” Herr said. “When I called the Louis Vuitton store where she had attempted to make about six different charges, they informed me that she had a picture ID that matched the name on the card, with my name.”

Herr said she believes the crooks have a way to make fake ID’s on the fly, using them to make cashiers think that the stolen cards they use, really belong to them.

Herr took to social media, where two different women posted nearly identical stories of a similar couple approaching them.

Even though some of the money will be refunded, Herr said that having her personal information out there makes her feel unsafe.

“It’s so invasive, it's just an invasion of my privacy, and it leaves me fearing that my identity is going to be misused for things in the future and that this is not going to end.”

Herr has reported the information to police and hopes that surveillance video at the mall will help detectives catch the thieves.