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Thieves distract elderly woman, steal wallet

Surveillance image of suspects using credit card at CVS
Surveillance image of suspects using credit card at CVS

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The Flagler County Sheriff's Office was searching for thieves who used a distraction technique to steal from an elderly woman.

The theft occurred on April 28th in the parking lot of Publix in the Palm Harbor Shopping Plaza.

The victim said she was shopping at Publix around noon and walked to her vehicle.  She said after she put her groceries in the trunk, she was approached by someone asking for directions.

At that time, a second person approached her but she didn't see where he had gone.

The victim said her purse was over her shoulder and believes while she was distracted by giving directions, the second person took her wallet out of her purse.

The investigation revealed her credit card was used at a CVS and Publix on Palm Coast Parkway NE in Palm Coast after it was stolen.

"This is an active investigation and one we are taking seriously. These individuals took advantage of an unsuspecting elderly woman by deliberately distracting her," said Sheriff James L. Manfre.

The two men in this case are described as African American, one male has long dread locks and the second is described as having a shaved head.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office provided these crime prevention tips to keep you safe while shopping:

  • Only carry a minimal amount of credit cards/cash while shopping.
  • Do not carry your Social Security card or PIN numbers in your wallet or purse.
  • Keep your purse zipped up or closed and never leave it unattended in a shopping cart.
  • When possible, walk to your car with someone or ask a store employee to walk with you to your car especially after dark. Be cautious of anyone who unexpectedly approaches you.
  • Report all suspicious incidents to law enforcement.

Anyone with information about this theft is asked to call the FCSO at 386-313-4911 in reference to case number 2015-44692 or call Crime Stoppers at 888-277-8477. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00.