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Shopping cart wallet thefts suspect nabbed

Travis Darren Rutherford, 47, is shown in a booking photo from the El Segundo Police Department. Rutherford was arrested for allegedly stealing wallets from shopping carts at grocery stores.

November 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A parolee was arrested for allegedly stealing wallets left in shopping carts by unsuspecting customers in El Segundo.

Police say they've seen a recent rash of thefts at several retail locations including the Ralphs and other stores located in the Plaza El Segundo shopping center.

On Sunday, officers responded to a report of a wallet stolen inside a Ralphs at 500 North Sepulveda Blvd. Police say the suspect allegedly took the wallet from a purse in a shopping cart and then fled the scene. Witnesses were able to provide a detailed description of the suspect and his getaway car.

Officers canvassed the area and located a possible suspect in the Plaza El Segundo parking lot. When officers approached, the suspect ran but was detained following a brief chase.

A witness positively identified the suspect as the person behind the wallet theft.

Upon investigation, officers learned that the suspect had also stolen a wallet from a shopper at a Whole Foods.

The suspect was identified as 47-year-old Travis Darren Rutherford. Police say Rutherford is listed as a violent sexual predator and is a parolee at large from the state of Indiana.

If you have any information regarding this incident or similar types of crimes, you're urged to contact the El Segundo Police Department at (310) 524-2200.