MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Deputies are searching for three suspects responsible for using distraction techniques to steal wallets and credit cards from shoppers.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received two reports between Aug. 21 and Aug. 24 of two elderly women having their wallets stolen while shopping at retail stores.

According to officials, the suspects are believed to be two women and one man.

Deputies said the suspects’ strategy involves starting conversations with their victims, then reaching into their purses to take money when they’re not paying attention.

The thieves would then use that money to shop at other stores.

Anyone with additional information or able to identify the suspects is asked to contact Detective Daniel Gau at or by calling 941-747-3001, ext. 2547.