WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — Police are calling what happened inside a local grocery an “elaborate” scheme.
Three people stole a wallet from a golf course, then used it to purchase $16,000 in gift cards from the Kroger at 17447 Carey Road. That’s along State Road 32 east of downtown Westfield.
Investigators said they’re checking with other agencies across the nation to make sure these people aren’t involved with other cases.
Shoppers at the Kroger were shocked to hear something so sneaky could happen at their local grocery. Adeila Scoles said, “I mean it’s just crazy! That’s a lot of money! That’s a brand-new car.”
Andrea DiBortolo said, “I guess it surprised me that they would go in a place that has cameras all over the place. They could roll the cameras back and see who exactly is doing this.”
“I mean if people devise a way to do it, a smart way, it can be done. You’d just think they would be a little more secretive about the location that they would be doing this,” DiBortolo said.
The people behind the scheme were caught on camera. Westfield police on Tuesday released pictures of the Aug. 2. incident. It began when a man and two women stole a wallet from an undisclosed Westfield golf course between noon and 1:30 p.m. Then, investigators said, the three took the wallet and the debit and credit cards inside to Kroger.
Police told News 8 how the plot worked: The taller female distracted the clerk while the shorter female ran the stolen credit and debit cards through machines, activating $16,000 in gift cards. Meanwhile, the man blacked customers and anyone else from seeing what was happening.
Shopper Ben Thompson said, “You can’t blame Kroger. I mean, these people had a scheme. Kroger is not hip to everything. They can’t know everything. They are just human like you and I. They don’t necessarily know what the latest scheme is that’s going around.”
The trio drove off in a black Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle. Anyone who recognizes the suspects or their vehicle was asked to call the Westfield Police Department at 317-804-3200.
“Kroger is as eager as anyone to see the arrests of whoever committed the crime. We hope your story helps break the case. Until then the Kroger security team will do everything it can to help police with the investigation.”Eric C. Halvorson, Kroger spokesman