Sacramento, California, Friendly Holiday Thieves “Friendly” Thieves Schmooze Shoppers, Steal Wallets – CBS Sacramento
By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento County Sheriff’s detectives are warning holiday shoppers about a series of theft cases targeting women and their wallets.

Raley’s is just one of many grocery stores being hit by the “friendly thieves.” Shoppers both inside the store and in the parking lot are getting ripped off by so-called “friendly thieves.”

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The suspects reportedly strike up a conversation with customers, often asking for a special holiday recipe. Then, when customers are distracted, the thieves steal their wallets from an unattended purse.

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“How friendly are they? Those folks you might see in the community might be too friendly…that may be cause for alarm,” said Sheriff’s Spokesman Shaun Hampton Sheriff’s Dept.

Investigators say elderly women are often the targets of these thieves.

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The sheriff’s department isn’t trying to identify the suspects. They’ve already done that using not-yet-released surveillance footage. But they do believe more victims are out there and hope they come forward.