LONGMONT, Colo. (KDVR) — Detectives with the Longmont Police Department are asking for the public’s help when it comes to identifying a few different suspects wanted for stealing wallets out of purses in local stores.

“They like stores that have shopping carts and when women put their purses in the front section,” Detective Stephen Desmond, with LPD said.

Desmond said this same group, they believe either a duo or four people, have been striking stores in their area since November of last year. There are both male and female suspects.

“They have one person go up to the woman to distract her, then the other person will go and take the wallet out of the purse. They haven’t taken purses yet just the wallets,” Desmond said.

He said the most recent hits were at a Marshalls and Bed Bath and Beyond store earlier this week. The suspects purchased $4,000 in gift cards with one of the victim’s stolen credit cards.

“I don’t know why a store would allow someone to come in and buy $4,000 in gift cards without checking an ID but they were able to do that,” Desmond said.

If the suspects are caught, they could be facing felony charges. Desmond said they are targeting women.

“They are targeting women. They are targeting older women. They are also targeting women with disabilities or mobility issues,” Desmond said.

He said the suspects follow the victims around the store to see how they are acting, if their purse is left unzipped and if they are actively leaving their bag in the front portion of the cart.

“Be aware of your surroundings,” Desmond said.

Tips to avoid being a victim:

  • Close your purse every time you go into a retail store
  • Carry your purse or wallet on your person; do not place it in the cart
  • If you take a wallet into the store, do not leave it in the cart
  • Consider bringing a carabiner and clip the purse or wallet to the cart

If you do not have young children with you, use the child safety belt to fasten your purse in the cart. Zip or secure the bag closed. If you can identify the individuals, please call (303) 651-8555 and reference Longmont report 22-8060.