Holidays were good for wallet lifters

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The holidays were good for wallet lifters in Charlotte's SouthPark area.

CMPD saw a rash of pick pocket thieves preying on people in crowded malls and supermarkets.

At the Harris Teeter on Morrison, there have been six reports to police of someone stealing purses and wallets in the past year.

Police believe on woman may have taken part in at least three of the thefts. They also think she may be working with a partner.

"In each case there's generally two people," said CMPD Detective Marty Cuthbertson. "One is distracting the victims and the other person comes up as they're distracted and steals their wallets or purses from their carts."

Surveillance caught the woman entering the store at 10:00AM last December 8th. She had a large, brown purse that she put in her empty cart.

Five minutes later, she's seen with a couple grocery items in her cart, but she's just stuffed something into her purse and is hurrying past the checkout stands, where she abandons her buggy and makes a quick exit from the store.

During those five minutes, an elderly lady was getting food from the deli counter. She had her back to the purse in her cart. When she got to checkout, she didn't have her wallet.

About the same time, her credit card was being used by someone across the street at SouthPark Mall.

Detective Cuthbertson's advice to shoppers-- "Secure your purse as best you can. Keep them on your person. Don't walk away from that buggy and leave them in there. It can only take a second for someone to take your property."

If you think you know anything that can help, call Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600. Or, download the new Crime Stoppers app for your smart phone. You can get it free on our website,

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