NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office says it’s investigating at least five cases of pickpocketing in its jurisdiction that are believed to be part of a theft ring — and other cases have been reported in Fernandina Beach and Jacksonville.
As first reported by the Fernandina Beach Police Department, there have been reports of two men and a woman who are distracting shoppers in a grocery store and then stealing the shopper’s wallet from their purse. The trio appears to be in their 20s, well-dressed — and each is wearing a facial covering.
According to Fernandina Beach police, a woman typically asks the shopper a question about a grocery item and then lures them a few feet away from their cart while someone else swipes the wallet from the shopper’s purse.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office made a few additional notes, saying the trio appears to be targeting middle-aged to elderly women, and they almost always ask a question about the pricing of the items the victim is looking at.
A spokesperson added that two suspects in the trio are believed to be part of a theft ring spotted in Florida and Southeast Georgia. They use different vehicles in each incident.
Furthermore, a detective shared that there appear to be at least 13 separate cases reported by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. A majority of incidents appear to have occurred at Publix.
Fernandina Beach police shared the following photos on Facebook:
“We encourage our community to secure their purses or backpacks while shopping. This can be done by making sure the compartments are zipped or fastened shut, securing the purse or backpack to the cart with the child strap or a carabiner clip or carrying it on your person,” Fernandina Beach police write. “If a person, no matter how friendly, tries to lure you away from your cart, take the cart with you or take the purse/backpack with you.”
Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.