The NYPD’s 61st Precinct is asking for the public’s help in hunting down a crew of alleged thieves accused of stealing wallets and purses from patrons at local department stores.
According to sources at the precinct, the thieves have hit local stores including the Sheepshead Bay Marshalls (1623 Avenue Y), the Kings Highway T.J. Maxx (1630 East 15th Street), and the Kohl’s at Ceasar’s Bay, swiping wallets and credit cards from unattended purses. The suspects allegedly pretend to be shoppers. Victims leave their purses in their carts while browsing the aisles, and the suspects are believed to swipe the wallet out of the purses as the victim turns their back.
The police have connected at least four incidents to the suspects since the beginning of July, with the latest occurring on August 3. Surveillance video at the stores, stills of which accompany this post, have helped investigators zero in on their suspects.
The source noted that perpetrators have not racked up exorbitant charges on the victims’ credit cards, instead quickly using it for small purchases before discarding it. However, all credit card theft is considered a grand larceny.
At the time of this report, the precinct could not say exactly how many suspects they believed to be involved in the thefts, although they confirmed that there are multiple perpetrators.
The precinct is also reminding residents not to leave their purses or other property unattended in public spaces.
If you have information regarding these crimes or suspects, please call the 61st Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 627-6620 or the 61st Precinct at (718) 627-6611.