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Thieves Targeting Local Seniors At Grocery Stores

Three suspects believed to be distracting elderly woman in order to steal their wallet.



ImageIn three separate crimes, seniors were victims of a theft which occurred as they did their grocery shopping.  On Thursday morning, August 7, 2008, a woman was grocery shopping when she was distracted by someone who appeared to be another shopper.  As she tried to help the shopper, she looked away from her purse, which she had left in the shopping cart.  At that point, another suspect walked up and stole her wallet from her purse.  

A second and third theft occurred at different stores as the day went on.  The first two thefts occurred in Newhall grocery stores, Vons and Ralphs.  The third theft occurred in Saugus at Albertsons.    

Detectives believe that there are three suspects, all Hispanic males.  The suspects have distracted the victims by asking about food products and in one case, the suspect fell down and appeared to need help getting up.  Preying on the good natures of the victims, the thieves direct their attention away from their shopping cart where they have left their purse sitting in a vulnerable position.  

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Santa Clarita Sheriff’s officials are advising all shoppers to keep their personal property secure and on their person while in public areas.  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.  

Two Lancaster females were arrested last year for a similar crime trend in Santa Clarita. In that case, they also worked as a team to distract elderly shoppers while one grabbed a wallet from the purse.  

If anyone has any information on these crimes, they should contact Sergeant James Anderson at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, (661) 799-5136.