Police Seek Public’s Help to Identify Pickpocket Suspects
By City News Service
The Burbank Police Department sought the public’s help on Tuesday to identify pickpocket suspects believed to have stolen wallets and purses from people while they were shopping at retail stores in recent months.
In three such cases, “the suspects targeted elderly retail shoppers, stealing their wallets in distraction-style thefts,” police said.
Police also said, “Detectives have noted a common pattern among thieves who are targeting shoppers carrying purses or bags while shopping at local retailers. In these instances, multiple suspects will work together to distract the victim by talking to them or brushing up against them while pretending to shop for goods.
“Simultaneously, the suspect(s) will reach into an open and/or unattended purse and take the victim’s wallet.”
The suspects then use the victims’ credit cards to make purchases, police said.
“By the time the victims have realized their wallets were stolen, their credit cards have already been used at nearby businesses to make fraudulent purchases,” police said.
Police released security images of a man and woman involved in pickpocket-style thefts in February and March that targeted “elderly” shoppers at a grocery store, a warehouse club and a drugstore.
The man was described as being in his 30s, having black hair, and wearing a camouflage hat, glasses, black neck gaiter, a black shirt with a rainbow decal, camouflage pants, Croc-style shoes and a black sleeve on his left arm. Witnesses also described him as having “painted-on eyebrows.”
The woman was described as being in her 30s, with short black hair in a bun. She was carrying a black bag, and was seen wearing prescription glasses, a blue face mask, a black jacket, black pants and black shoes.
The security images can be viewed at burbankpd.org/assets/1/16/Burbank_PD_Attempt_To_Identify_.pdf.
Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact Detective Arias at (818) 238-3210 or via email at [email protected].
First published in the August 26 print issue of the Burbank Leader.