ELK GROVE (CBS13) – She was distracted for a just a moment and her wallet was gone as she shopped.

“I was talking to a lot of different people,” the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told CBS13 on Monday. “I had my young children with me. I was distracted.”

It’s that time of year. You’re busy trying to navigate through shoppers who are also in a hurry. You just want to get your stuff and get home. When you get to the register, panic hits.

“When I went to pay and reached into my purse, my wallet was gone,” the shopper said.

This woman learned quickly at a Trader Joe’s in Elk Grove that when you’re looking for sales, criminals are also on the lookout for distracted shoppers, especially for unattended purses.

“Working in retail, you hear about it all the time,” shopper Shawn Escobar said.

We hid the victim’s identity but she’s a CBS employee. “I was definitely distracted during my shopping trip,” she said.

She admits she was not paying attention to her purse in the shopping cart when her pocketbook disappeared. Her wallet was taken out of her purse and out the door in minutes.

“I could not figure out where it could be,” she said.

She said her wallet was found by a stranger in a Carl’s Jr. parking lot on Mack Road in south Sacramento. When she checked it, she had been wiped out.

“Except for my driver’s license,” she said.

Police say she wasn’t the only one preyed upon.

“Five people in this store had their wallets taken out of their purses while they’d been shopping just this week,” she said she was told.

Criminals are focused on the distracted.

“I would definitely tell people to zip up their purses. Hold on to them under your shoulder if you can,” the victim said.

Once again, this certainly is not exclusive to Trader Joe’s. It can happen anywhere. Police agree that keeping that purse as close to you as possible is a good idea.


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