Springfield police are asking people to be on guard as a professional pick-pocket ring repeatedly hits the city. Police began receiving reports of wallets being stolen from purses last August while the victims were at area restaurants.
Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher says the thieves have at times used clever distractions.
“We’ve even had cases where somebody’s in a restaurant and falls down, acting like they’re hurt,” says Buscher. “While people are paying attention to that, or going over to help, other people are going through their belongings.”
Authorities believe the group is moving from city to city stealing credit cards and running up thousands of dollars in charges buying large dollar gift cards and high-end electronics.
Police think the group is responsible for 15 thefts in Springfield with losses near $60,000.