Plano Police Warn of 'Distract and Grab' Thefts

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Plano Police say they’ve made two arrests in connection to a series of wallet and purse theft cases in their city. Still, they’re warning shoppers to be wary of friendly strangers and to keep personal belongings on one’s body. (Published Thursday, Jun 5, 2014)

    Police in Plano are warning of an uptick in a concerning type of theft.

    The issue is “distract and grab” style crime.

    The said they typically see it in larger grocery or warehouse-style stores, saying thieves, usually targeting shoppers walking alone with a cart, are working in pairs.

    In surveillance video released to NBC5, police said you can see a female suspect walking up to a potential victim, either engaging the shopper in conversation or asking a question.

    Police say she comes across as well-spoken and friendly, distracting the shopper until an accomplice, also seen in the video, can discreetly grab a purse or wallet and leave the store.

    One victim told NBC5 off camera that in her case, a woman walked up to her in the pet aisle, asking for help with a heavy bag of supplies.

    The petite woman told the victim she was pregnant, which made the victim more eager to help.

    Plano police said in that situation, it’s best to always keep your belongings close and track down a store employee instead of volunteering yourself.

    “It’s somebody that would come up to you and ask for help in whatever situation,” said Plano Police Spokesman Officer David Tilley.

    According to Tilley, over the past month, Plano police have made two arrests.

    Charvella Henry and Kendrick Lamont Jackson are both being held in the Collin County Detention Center.

    According to jail records, they are each facing at least eight charges of debit or credit card abuse.

    Plano police suspect they are the “distract and grab” pair caught on surveillance video and are suspected in five incidents in their city. However, Tilley adds other agencies are investigating the pair as well.

    It is not clear if the two were working alone, or if they’re part of a larger crime ring.