Arlington police are warning shoppers about three thieves who wait in supermarket aisles to steal women's wallets.
Investigators said the two men and a woman made off with at least 12 wallets in the month of September.
Investigators said the thieves target middle-aged women who are shopping alone.
"Sometimes they are engaging the victim and trying to talk to them and distract them with conversation," Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Richard said. "In other instances, they just take advantage of the fact that the purse is open and accessible and the person pushing the cart is distracted."
Investigators said the female member of the trio almost always goes in the store while one of the men waits outside in the getaway car, a silver Chevrolet Malibu.
The thieves have hit stores that include Tom Thumb, Kroger and Walmart.
The credit cards inside the stolen wallets have been used to buy gas and gift cards, police said.
Police suggest shoppers just bring their wallets inside the store and keep it placed tightly under their arm while leaving their purse locked in their car.
Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case.