Caught on Tape: Men Distract 80-Year-Old Woman, Steal Wallet

The theft, captured on surveillance video, happened at a Whole Foods market on Villa La Jolla Drive

Police are searching for a pair of men accused of distracting an elderly woman at a San Diego grocery store in a ploy to steal her wallet from her purse.

The theft – captured on surveillance video above – happened on the afternoon of Dec. 29 at a Whole Foods market located at 8825 Villa La Jolla Dr. Officials released details of the crime for the first time Wednesday.

According to investigators, the 80-year-old victim placed her open purse containing her wallet in the basket of her shopping cart as she walked around the store, catching the attention of two unknown men who then began following the woman around as she shopped.

At one point, in the frozen foods aisle, one of the men distracted the woman by asking her to help him find a food item. As she helped him, police said the second suspect approached the woman’s shopping cart, reached into her open purse and snatched her wallet in a move caught on tape.

Though the victim didn’t actually see the man steal her wallet, police said she quickly realized it was missing and reported the crime.

Both suspects, pictured clearly below, were last seen walking out of the store and remain at large two weeks later.

Police are hoping that releasing their photographs and the surveillance tape will generate leads. Anyone with information on this theft or these men should contact the San Diego Police Department’s Elder Abuse Unit at (619) 446-1063 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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