Walter Mencken 4 p.m., May 3
Shopping Cart Bandits
La Mesa Police are looking for two females suspected of preying on elderly women in supermarkets. The pair are suspected of involvement in at least three similar thefts.
In the first known case, a 65 year-old woman was shopping at Windmill Farms in Del Cerro when she was approached by a suspect described in a press release as a “heavyset, African-American woman with medium-length graying hair and reading glasses.” While the suspect distracted the victim with questions, her wallet was stolen from her purse in the shopping cart. Within two hours, the suspect had obtained a fake California ID with her photo and the victim’s name. The ID and stolen credit cards were used to obtain a $2,000 cash advance from a Chase Bank and to make $500 in fraudulent purchases at Office Depot.
On July 6, the woman, working with a partner also described as “a middle-aged African-American female,” engaged an 85 year-old shopper at the Ralph’s in La Mesa while her partner again stole the victim’s wallet from her purse. This time they were able to get $3,000 from Citibank using the stolen cards, and made another $500 in purchases at Macy’s.
On July 8, the pair struck at a Vons in Carlsbad, again stealing a wallet from a senior’s shopping cart. In less than an hour, the thieves managed to obtain cash advances totaling $3,500 from U.S. Bank and Chase Bank in San Marcos.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to arrests. Contact them at (888) 580-8477 or www.crimestoppers.com, or contact La Mesa Police at (619) 667-1400.
More like this:
- Woman reportedly shared a baby picture while attempting check fraud — Feb. 25, 2013
- Drive-by purse snatchers drag female victim — Nov. 6, 2012
- Credit card thieves head to Walmart — Sept. 20, 2012
- Credit Card Thief On The Loose in North County — Sept. 16, 2011
- Mystery Thief Robs Unknown Victim — Aug. 30, 2011