BURBANK, Calif. (CNS) -- Burbank police Tuesday sought the public's help to identify pickpocket suspects believed to have stolen wallets and purses from people while they were shopping at retailers in recent months.
In three such crimes, "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 three such crimes in February and March that targeted "elderly" shoppers at a grocery store, a warehouse club and a drugstore.
The man was described as in his 30s, with black hair, and he wore a camouflage hat, glasses, black neck gaiter, black shirt with a rainbow decal, camouflage pants, croc-style shoes and a black sleeve on his left arm. Witnesses described him as having "painted-on eyebrows."
The woman was described as in her 30s, with short black hair in a bun. She was wearing prescription glasses and had a blue face mask, and she wore a black jacket, black pants, and black shoes. She carried a black bag.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to contact Det. Arias at (818) 238-3210 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.