Alleged Thief Runs Up Big Bills On Merchandise And Gift Cards

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — The hunt is on for a thief who has been targeting shoppers in Brooklyn. While her victims are shopping for new shoes, this purse snatcher is shopping for easy targets, according to police.

She has been caught on surveillance camera and has been described as a woman in her 30s, who walks with a cane, CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported Friday.

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Brooklyn shoppers said they were less than pleased with the opportunistic thief’s tactics.

“I think it’s horrible, horrible. It’s just a sign of the times, because times are hard,” Michelle Duncan said.

The thief grabs women’s purses, takes their credit cards, and runs up a high bill on gift cards and store merchandise, police said.

Macy’s store associates told CBS 2 that the shoe department seems to be her favorite hunting ground.

This woman has allegedly been ripping of purses while her victims shop in Brooklyn. (Credit CBS 2)

This woman has allegedly been ripping of purses while her victims shop in Brooklyn. (Credit CBS 2)

“What happens is when ladies are shopping, they concentrate on shopping and not on their belongings. That is how that happens,” Crown Heights resident Mildred Jamison explained.

Jamison told CBS 2 that she comes to the mall prepared.

“I bought a long-strap purse and I put it across my shoulder and wear it across my body,” she explained.

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The alleged purse snatcher has struck inside of Macy’s on four occasions in the past month, police said.. In 2012 there were 25 reported purse grabbings inside of Macy’s. There have already been seven this year.

Macy’s had no comment on the thefts, but told CBS 2 that it employ its own security team to protect customers.

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