Thieves working together took wallets from two distracted shoppers at Whole Foods supermarket in Darien at least twice last week, in one case when a shopper was distracted when ordering sushi, and in another case when someone working with the other thieves distracted a shopper, Darien police said.
Police didn’t say whether or not any of the thieves in one case were the same ones on both days.
Police described each of the incidents with these accounts:
The first theft was reported to police at 12:58 p.m., Thursday. Police reviewed store surveillance video, which showed a group of three women working together.
One woman engaged the victim in conversation while the other two worked together to remove the victim’s wallet from her purse.
The victim said she noticed her wallet missing only when she went to pay for her purchases. Police told her to notify her financial institutions about the theft.
At about 11:30 a.m. the next day, Friday, the woman told police that the cards had already been used to buy items priced at a total of $3,172 before she was able to make those notifications.
The second theft was reported at 1:42 p.m., Friday.
In this case, the victim told police she suspected her wallet had been taken from her purse while she was at the sushi counter. Store surveillance video confirmed her suspicion.
The video showed a male suspect following the shopper for a few minutes and, at one point, looking into her purse before she went to the sushi counter.
When the shopper was there, a female approached the victim and removed the wallet from her purse (in the child-seat part of the victim’s shopping cart) while the victim was distracted.
Previous Similar Thefts at the Same Supermarket
At least twice before in 2018, shoppers’ wallets have been stolen at the store, according to previous police announcements.
On Friday, Sept. 28, a shopper reported that her wallet had been taken from her purse. Store surveillance video showed the thief taking it while the victim’s back was turned. She not only had no money when she reached the checkout line, but she found $8513 in fraudulent charges on her accounts.
On Tuesday, June 5, a man stole a wallet after a man accidentally left it on a counter at the supermarket. Store surveillance video showed that the wallet lasted four minutes on the counter before another man was seen taking it.