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UPDATE: Deputies seek assistance in identifying alleged wallet thief

Posted: April 24, 2014 11:12 a.m.
Updated: April 24, 2014 5:38 p.m.

Sheriff's deputies believe the woman in this photo is a suspect in the wallet theft.

 

Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station sought the public’s assistance Thursday in identifying a woman believed to be involved in a wallet theft from a Valencia store.

The incident occurred on April 11 at a store located in the 24200 block of Magic Mountain Parkway, according to Deputy Josh Dubin.

“It’s alleged that the victim’s wallet was stolen from inside of her purse while she was shopping in a grocery location,” Dubin said Thursday.

 

The victim was reportedly approached by another woman who asked her a couple of questions. Shortly after the questioner walked away, the victim noticed her wallet had been taken from her purse, which was in the upper basket area of a shopping cart.

Shortly after the theft of the wallet, an unidentified suspect used the victim’s credit cards to purchase several thousand dollars worth of merchandise at another retail location in the same shopping center.

An investigation revealed a female suspect entering that retail location and posing as the victim to use the credit cards. Deputies are working to determine if the suspect acted alone or with a partner.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Detective Marino at 661-255-1121 or at MTMarino@lasd.org. Tips can be made anonymously by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477).

“We’re asking for the public’s assistance in reviewing some photos and some surveillance videos to see if you know who this person is who used the credit cards fraudulently,” Dubin said.

Dubin said the incident earlier this month is similar to several other wallet thefts that occurred last year when local deputies responded to three separate reports of women whose wallets were stolen from their purses while shopping at various grocery stores.

Following those thefts, the victims’ credit cards were used to obtain cash advances or to purchase, or attempt to purchase, expensive jewelry.

“Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies want to remind you that purses or wallets taken from shopping carts in grocery and other stores is a fairly common crime,” Dubin said. “It doesn’t take a lot of inattention for a stealthy thief to come in and quickly steal a purse or wallet.

“Never leave your purse unattended, even for a second,” he continued.

Some advice to ward off would-be thieves includes keeping purses snapped or zipped closed and always be aware of where the purse is, particularly when other people are nearby or when loading groceries into a vehicle, according to deputies.

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter @LukeMMoney 

 

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