Police warn of pickpocket targeting holiday shoppers - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Police warn of pickpocket targeting holiday shoppers

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FOREST ACRES, SC (WIS) -

While the holiday shopping season is at its busiest, so are thieves. Their primary targets are cash and credit cards nestled in your purse.

"It only takes a matter of seconds for someone to walk by and reach in and grab it and walk away," said Forest Acres Police Lt. Bryant Hinson

He said shoppers need to hold on to their purses at all times.

"You should be able to shop in a store freely," he said. "But that's not happening."

Hinson said a woman may be connected to a pickpocket case at Piggly Wiggly and two schemes last month at a Publix in Forest Acres.

Hinson said in each case the woman rummaged through the shopper's purse while she was distracted.  The woman stole credit cards and cash and then immediately went shopping.

Investigators said two weeks ago the woman made three cash advances from the latest victim's credit card and bought gas and gift cards at the Walmart in Forest Acres.

"Later that day we found that those cards from Walmart were used the same day in Augusta, GA," said Hinson.

Police are reviewing security video from other area stores she visited to narrow their search,  but they still need help tracking her down. 

Call Crimestoppers at 1-888-Crime-SC if you can help investigators.

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