FISHERS (WISH) — They’re well-dressed and rent cars to blend in, according to Fishers Police Department.
A woman was inside the Panera Bread restaurant east of I-69 on 96th Street in Fishers earlier this month, police said. While she was eating, those thieves stole her wallet. The suspects then drove to the Super Target northwest of I-69 off 116th Street and bought $5,000 worth of gift cards using the victim’s credit card.
“Actually, I’ve been a little nervous lately when I have my cart with my purse in it,” said Karen Herrmann, of Fishers.
Fishers police warn they believe a well-organized theft gang is at work. Police think the thieves usually work in groups of two or three across the country.
“They’re specifically targeting female patrons and stealing from their purses or handbags,” Sgt. Tom Weger with the Fishers Police Department said Thursday.
Police said the thieves pickpocket mostly women around lunchtime at restaurants near big retail stores for a reason.
“I think they’re specifically looking for credit cards to be used very quickly in the area,” Weger said.
News 8 warned Nancy Limp about the thieves while she was on the way to lunch Thursday. “I think it’s pretty brazen of them to do something like that. I’ll be really concerned about where I put my purse from now on.”
The thing is, police said, the suspects usually are well-dressed and rent nice cars to blend in with people. “Oh wow. Wow!” Herrmann said.
Herrmann had heard about the thieves stealing from women’s purses. “I always make sure it’s closed. It’s all zipped up,” Herrmann said about her purse. “I think it’s frightening to know people are going around doing this.”
Police recommend people keep their purses or handbags in their laps and never hang their bags over the back of chairs.
Fishers Police also recommend:
- Always stay alert.
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid becoming easily distracted (i.e. Cell phones, laptop computers).
- Download the Relay App at www.Relayapp.com and immediately report suspicious activity.
- Always keep valuables visible
- Purses and handbags should be held in your lap. Never hang your bag over the back of a chair.
- Make certain purses and handbags are kept closed. Zipper style bags are preferred.
- Set up fraud alerts on all credit/debit cards.
- Immediately notify the police if you think you have become a victim. Do not wait until you get home. Time is critical in these cases. The sooner the police are notified the better the chance is the criminals will be caught.
Police say if you have any information, call (317) 595-3370.