"What they do is, one woman will distract their prey while the other woman will sneak up to their shopping cart and take their wallet right out of their shopping cart," Plymouth Township Police Detective Sergeant Thomas Longo said.
An 84-year-old woman reports that on Oct. 29th, she was shopping at the Bed Bath &: Beyond in the MetroPlex on Chemical Road in Plymouth Township when a woman approached her to ask for assistance. What the victim would later discover is that while that was going on, another woman was rifling through her pocketbook that she left on her shopping cart and took her wallet. She immediately called her credit card company.
"Ironically, the credit card security people said, 'Well, your card is actually being used right now at the Target store,'" Longo said.
A few doors down at the Target store, surveillance shows the suspect attempting to use the card to buy an expensive digital camera. But because the victim reacted so quickly, the credit card issuer declined the purchase despite two attempts. Even so, police say, the bandits then attempt to use the card at another counter to buy gift cards, but that did not work either.
But as the old saying goes, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
This time, the pair targeted a 65-year-old woman shopping at the BJ's Wholesale Club on Alan Wood Road. But again, the victim was able to contact her credit card company right away and again, the card was declined.
Despite two failed attempts, police say these bandits would prove to be tenacious. On November 5th, again on a Friday, they ended up at the Giant Food store on Concord Road in Aston, Delaware County where they swiped a wallet from an 80-year-old woman.
With the bandits on a roll, police are asking shoppers to be careful.
"You really have to be vigilant, making sure you know who you're talking to, where your purse is. Don't leave your cart unattended," Longo said.
Besides the purchases, the thieves also tried to make three $1 donations to the St. Jude Foundation, but by that time, the credit card was declined.
Anyone with information is asked call Aston or Plymouth Township Police.