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Deputies seek trio of purse snatchers

Thefts occurred while victims were distracted at SCV supermarkets

Posted: August 13, 2008 8:53 p.m.
Updated: October 15, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Local law enforcement is advising senior shoppers to beware of thieves who rob their victims by distracting them.

On three separate occasions, seniors were victims of a theft which occurred as they did their grocery shopping, said a spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

On Aug. 7, a woman was grocery shopping when she was distracted by someone who appeared to be another shopper, said Lt. Brenda Cambra in a news release issued Wednesday.

"As she tried to help the shopper, she looked away from her purse, which she had left in the shopping cart.

Another suspect walked up and stole her wallet from her purse," she said.

Two other similar thefts were reported to have occurred at different stores as the day went on.

The first two thefts occurred at Vons and Ralphs in Newhall.

The third theft occurred in Saugus at Albertsons.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's detectives believe that there are three suspects, all reported to be Hispanic males.

The suspects reportedly distracted the victims by asking about food products and in one case, the suspect fell down and appeared to need help getting up, Cambra reported.

Preying on the good natures of the victims, they direct the victim's attention away from their shopping cart where they have left their purse sitting in a vulnerable position, she said.

Shoppers should keep their personal property secured while in public areas, she added.

While the victims in these cases have all been female seniors, anyone who leaves their property in a vulnerable position is a potential victim for those targeting personal property.


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