SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- Police are searching for the suspects they say have been targeting and stealing from women in the parking lots of stores in Suffolk County.
Over the last month, at least 10 similar incidents have been reported where the victim is approached by an individual asking for directions.
In the most recent theft on Aug. 10, a woman was approached by a man in the parking lot of a Costco on Garet Place in Commack.
After the man asked for directions, the woman got into her car and noticed her wallet was missing from the passenger seat.
The woman went back into the store to see if someone turned in her wallet when she saw that same man at the entrance. He took off when he saw her.
Police say there have been nine other similar incidents where one suspect asked for directions while the other stole credit cards. The victims have almost always been women over the age of 60, with one exception.
In one instance, the thieves ran up $9,000 in credit card charges for one victim alone.
The other thefts were reported in the following locations:
-Costco, 125 Beacon Dr., Holbrook, on July 30 at 4 p.m.
-Costco, 3000 Route 25, Nesconset, on July 30 at 2:33 p.m.
-Bed, Bath & Beyond, 3083 Jericho Turnpike, East Northport, on July 21 at 1:30 p.m.
-Costco, 10 Garet Place, Commack, on July 21 at 2:38 p.m.
-Costco, 625 Broadhollow Road, Melville, July 21 at 12:45 p.m.
-Costco, 625 Broadhollow Road, Melville, July 16 at 2:15 p.m.
-Costco, 10 Garet Place, Commack, on July 16 at 2:30 p.m.
-Costco, 10 Garet Place, Commack, on July 14 at 4:25 p.m.
-Costco, 625 Broadhollow Road, Melville, on July 14 at 2:30 p.m.
Police say in some cases, the suspects were two women and a man.
One of the women was described as possibly pregnant and the other was described as tall, thin and nicely dressed.
"We are currently working with our big box stores with positioning of cameras and asking if there is a better way of asking if anyone is going to use a credit card, asking them for some type of identification," said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison.
Police say the suspects also have unmistakable heavy accents, which could in fact be real or simply part of their ruse.
"I've seen people act like the have an accent, act like they're injured, put a neck brace on, a cast on their arm," Harrison said. "Is there a chance they're using this accent just to throw our victims off - I wouldn't put it by them."
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