Cheyenne police are warning residents to be aware of distraction thefts occurring in the city that appear to be part of a nationwide crime spree.

Public Information Officer Alex Farkas says there have been at least 17 potentially related incidents of mostly older white women who have had their purses or wallets stolen.

"During each incident, several suspects enter a grocery store, all wearing surgical masks and actively seeking a victim," said Farkas.

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Farkas says once a victim is selected, one suspect will distract them, typically asking where items are located within the store, while another suspect steals their purse or wallet.

"What they are doing with the contents inside is still under investigation," she said.

Farkas says the suspects in question (pictured below) have not been identified, are very efficient, and have a specific pattern of behavior when committing their theft scheme.

Cheyenne Police Department
Cheyenne Police Department
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To avoid becoming a victim of theft, police recommend the following:

  • If you carry a handbag when shopping, use one that has a zipper or snap-flap closure.
  • Never let your bag out of your sight, especially when it’s in a shopping cart. If you turn away from your shopping cart for any reason, pick up your handbag and secure it in front of you.
  • If you are victimized, call 911 immediately and give a detailed description of the thief or thieves – the height, weight, facial hair, tattoos, etc. Also, notify management if you are near a business and your bank and credit card companies.

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