LUBBOCK (KLBK) — Local shoppers should be on the lookout for people attempting to steal their credit cards while shopping, police said Monday.
The Lubbock Police Department said there has been an increase in cases of forgery across West Texas. Authorities are working with departments in other cities to prevent this from happening to anyone else.
“We just wanted to be proactive in getting the word out on what we’re seeing around town. We have confirmed cases in Lubbock, Amarillo, and Wichita Falls,” said Lieutenant Leath McClure with LPD.
Police are asking people to be aware of their surroundings and keep a close eye on their belongings.
They say these crimes do have a pattern; one man strikes up a conversation with the target while an accomplice steals their wallet out of their bag.
“Usually it’s two males and sometimes they have a female with them. They approach a woman in the store who is alone shopping. One of them will strike up a conversation while the other one takes the wallet from her purse,” said Lieutenant McClure.
Credit cards are then immediately used to purchase gift cards from other retailers.
“We are looking out for all West Texas cities so that they don’t get hit by the same suspects,” said Bailea Coffel, crime analyst at the Lubbock Police Department.
The crimes have been targeting women who appear to be shopping alone. While the victims of these crimes have been primarily older women, police say there could be more people affected by these incidents.
“It could happen to anyone. What I would recommend most importantly, if you can, lock your purse in the car or at home and just take in what you need to purchase your goods, ” said Lieutenant McClure.
Police also believe the suspects are driving a white Honda HR-V.