Brian Hamacher

Thief Targeting Distracted Shoppers in Coral Springs

Police in Coral Springs are warning residents about a thief who they say has targeted more than a dozen distracted shoppers in stores.

The police department's economic crimes bureau is investigating the sneaky thief, who they say has struck at least 13 times.

Surveillance video from one grocery store showed the suspect draping his white jacket over a victim's purse while the woman picks out produce. His left hand is seen under the jacket fishing around for the woman's wallet.

In a matter of 20 seconds the thief was able to take the wallet without the woman knowing.

Police say the suspect, on occasion, has swiped the entire purse and they say the most common days this happens are Thursdays and Fridays in the morning between 10 and 10:45 a.m., and then in the afternoon between 1 and 4 p.m.

"They are doing it so quick that if you’re shopping at a grocery store, they're going and taking your credit card before you even check out to pay for your produce or whatever you are paying for, your credit cards are either compromised or have been used at another retail establishment before you are even aware that the card was even taken," Coral Springs Police spokesperson Tyler Reik said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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