Grand Prairie Police Need Help Catching Thieves

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Grand Prairie Police Officers need the public’s help catching a couple of criminals who they say distracted a grocery shopper and ran away with her wallet. The female and male duo then proceeded to fill up their car at a nearby 7-Eleven and attempted to buy groceries and $200 worth of gift cards at a CVS Pharmacy. The victim also said she got a call on Wednesday from Home Depot, where the thieves made a $636 purchase. (Published Thursday, Jul 31, 2014)

    Grand Prairie police officers need the public's help catching a couple of criminals who they say distracted a grocery shopper and ran away with her wallet.

    Maria Mitchell said she was in a hurry last Wednesday when she went shopping. Little did she know that she would become a target by having her purse open in her cart.

    She said a woman approached her and wouldn't stop talking.

    "She asked me, 'Did I like almond milk?' And she kept starting a conversation with me. And could she help me get the milk and that kind of thing," she said.

    Later, Mitchell said surveillance footage showed a man coming right next to her without her noticing.

    "He got his cart lined up beside mine, then she really talked to me and engaged in conversation about the milk. And he slipped in and got my wallet and he was gone," said Mitchell.

    Police said the thieves used the stolen credit cards within minutes. Mitchell said they filled up their vehicle at a 7-Eleven down the street and attempted to make a purchase at a CVS Pharmacy half a mile away. This week, she said Home Depot called, informing her about a $636 purchase she did not make.

    Although the thieves acted quickly, police said they didn't pick the best spots to stay out of sight.

    "All the places that they decided to go actually had great surveillance systems," said Det. Lyle Gensler.

    Shoppers were surprised when told about the recent theft.

    "It's just real shocking that you can't just go into a grocery store and feel safe anymore," said Brenda Hatley.

    They said they've learned a valuable lesson to be extra vigilant.

    "My purse will be zipped from now on, and I will hug it tight to me," said Pat Wade.

    As for Mitchell, she hoped the criminals will learn their lesson soon.

    "You're gonna be caught. Eventually you're gonna be caught. And use all that cleverness to do something worthwhile in this world, because these guys were professionals," she said.