Women Distract Shoppers at Grocery Stores, Steal Wallets

In both cases, the victims had placed their purses in their shopping cart as they perused the produce section at the supermarket

San Diego police are searching for two women accused of working together to distract shoppers at local grocery stores in a ploy to steal their wallets and credit cards.

According to the San Diego Police Department, the two unknown women allegedly targeted shoppers in at least two separate cases, successfully stealing their wallets.

The first instance happened on April 9 around 11:30 a.m. at a Trader Joe’s located at 8657 Villa La Jolla Drive in La Jolla. Police said a victim was shopping in the produce section when a woman approached her, asking her questions about the produce.

When the victim was distracted, another woman swept in and took the victim’s wallet from her purse, which was sitting inside her shopping cart.

Both suspects left the store. The victim then realized her wallet had been stolen. Police said the victim’s credit card was then fraudulently used to buy things at a Target store.

A couple of weeks later, one of the women struck again on April 22 around 12 p.m. – this time at a Sprouts market at 3358 Governor Drive, also in the La Jolla area.

Similarly, in that case, police said a victim was shopping in the produce section when a woman approached her and sparked up a conversation about produce. After a few minutes of chatting, the suspect left the area.

The victim then realized her wallet was missing from her purse, which she had placed inside her shopping cart. Her stolen credit card was then used to make purchases at a Target Store located at 8257 Mira Mesa Blvd., police said.

Investigators said that in both cases, the woman who starts the distracting conversation with the victim is described as being in her early 20s. There is no description of the second woman who actually took the wallet in the first case. The women may be driving a dark colored sedan.

Police released a surveillance photo of the suspect who used the stolen credit card from the April 22 case on Wednesday. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspects should contact the SDPD at (858) 552-1700 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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