Springfield police think a professional ring of pickpockets has been working the city… stealing wallets and using the credit cards inside to rack up big purchases at local stores.
A press release from the police department says they first began receiving reports of similar crimes in August of last year. The most recent theft last week led to $8,000 in fraudulent charges. In all, police are investigating 15 such cases, totaling almost $60,000.
In many cases, a wallet was removed from a purse that was hanging on the back of a chair in a local restaurant… although sometimes the suspect used a disturbance to distract the victim and steal their billfold. Police say the credit cards were used to buy gift cards or high-end electronics.
There are multiple suspects, both male and female, of various ages and races, and police have been unable to identify . Police are asking women to keep their purses closed and secure… and ask anyone with information on the crimes to contact SPD or Crimestoppers.