Robbers target senior shoppers

NEWHALL, Calif. The first was targeted in the morning at the Vons on Lyons Avenue in Newhall. The second incident was at the Ralphs on Orchard Village Road in Newhall, just hours later. The third incident happened mid-afternoon at the Albertsons on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus.

"They're preying on the good natures of these shoppers ... asking for help, or, in one case, the suspect fell down and appeared to need help getting up," said Lieutenant Brenda Camara, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. "That distracted the women, they helped, and when they looked back, their wallets were gone."

"Life is hard enough and, you know. If my grandparents were still here, I wouldn't want that happening to my grandmother. It's just terrible, you know. I wish they would find something better to do," said shopper Staci Phillips.

Shoppers say it is despicable to target the elderly. However, the one-day crime spree is a reminder for shoppers of all ages to be alert at all times.

"I'm very aware of where my money is all the time and my I.D. But, that's me. And not everybody is that safe," said shopper Frances Erikson.

"I just kind of throw my purse in the cart and don't really pay attention ... Now I'm going to be a little more concerned about who else is getting into it and I'm definitely going to keep it right in front of my eyes," said Staci.

Investigators have released surveillance video of one of the three suspects at the Albertsons in Saugus.

If you have any information about these robberies, you should call the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Department at (661) 799-5136.


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