Crime and Courts

3 charged in purse-stealing scheme targeting senior women across San Diego

The DA's office suspects similar schemes are ongoing, including one in North County San Diego targeting elderly women who leave their purses in shopping carts while they shop


Three people have been charged in a purse-stealing scheme targeting older women out shopping across San Diego County.

Shawntece Davis, 32, Kenya Frazier, 29, and David Anthony Foster, 67, were charged with elder theft, robbery, identity theft burglary and other felony counts for crimes against women 65-and-up starting as early as Jan. 2024, according to charging documents.

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said the suspects would case shopping centers in San Diego and National City, wait for senior women to leave stores and walk to their cars, and would swipe their purses once they were set down.

The suspects would use the credit cards and pawn any other goods they could find, she said. In some cases, the amounts stolen were over $950, according to charging documents.

The DA's case against the suspects involves 15 separate victims, so far. Many of them are Filipino or Asian women between 64 and 89, Stephan said.

“Those who prey on the elderly should understand that these crimes will not be tolerated and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” she said.

Authorities suspect a fourth person was involved in the conspiracy, but no arrest has yet been made. The suspects face up to 8 or 17 years in state prison if convicted of all charges, the DA said.

The DA's office say these crimes are not unique and urged shoppers to remain vigilant. Authorities recommend shoppers leave large purses at home where possible and to never leave items unattended.

A separate investigation is ongoing in North County San Diego where the District Attorney's office says there is a rise in thefts targeting elderly women who leave their purses in shopping carts while they shop.

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