TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Police are searching for three people accused of swiping wallets from unsuspecting shoppers at two Publix locations in Tampa.
Authorities said the first of three incidents took place at the Publix located at 4900 W Kennedy Boulevard just before 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 11.
There, officers said an elderly woman noticed her wallet was missing from her purse after she briefly stepped away from her shopping cart to grab an item off the shelf. Security camera video captured a man swiping the woman’s wallet from her purse.
Police said he and one of the two women then walked away and blended in with other patrons “as if to appear they are shopping together with another cart in tow.”
Less than two hours later, another two incidents occurred at the Publix located at 1313 S Dale Mabry Highway. Officers said the same man reached into two people’s shopping carts to steal wallets.
The department said the stolen cards were later used in various stores at the nearby International Plaza by another woman believed to be connected to the previously mentioned two suspects.
“Theft is a crime of opportunity. Let these unfortunate incidents be a reminder to everyone to always keep a close eye on your valuables,” said Interim Chief Lee Bercaw. “Be aware of your surroundings and never leave anything of value unattended.”
Anyone with information related to the incidents is asked to contact Tampa PD by calling (813) 231-6130 or sharing a tip via Tip411. Those who wish to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward can contact Crimestoppers of Tampa Bay by calling 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).