Staten Island

Women With High-End Bags Targeted in NYC Mall, Supermarket Heist Spree: Cops

No injuries were reported, but four women lost their wallets and had more than $1,200 in illegal credit card purchases run up, authorities say


A brazen Staten Island thief has been targeting women with high-end handbags at supermarkets and shops in the borough since late July and the pattern has ramped up in frequency since then, authorities said Wednesday.

The first two heists of the four police say the man is responsible for were at the stores in the Staten Island Hylan Plaza. Cops say he saw a 38-year-old woman shopping at Marshalls put her Michael Kors pocketbook on a stroller when she went to pay for her items and he took it. It had about $300 cash, an Apple iPhone 12 and credit cards and cops say he made about $500 in illegal credit purchases using her stolen information. That was around lunchtime on July 30.

Less than a week later cops say the same man struck in the same shopping plaza, this time targeting a 66-year-old woman with a Coach pocketbook in the Shop Rite Supermarket. He got another iPhone, credit cards and $150 in that theft.

The most recent two incidents in the pattern were Aug. 17 and Aug. 19 at the Staten Island Mall on Richmond Hill Road and the Stop & Shop supermarket on Hyland Boulevard. In the mall case, cops say a 71-year-old woman had been shopping in Macy's that afternoon and left her white Michael Kors pocketbook unattended on her walker for a brief time.

The thief swooped in and took it, making off with $1,000 in cash, an iPhone 12 and credit cards, again, before running off. He later made $163 worth of illegal credit card purchases at a Kids Footlocker in Brooklyn, police say.

Two days later came the Stop & Shop heist. In that case, a 59-year-old woman put her wallet in her pocketbook, which was in a shopping cart, and left it unattended for a moment. The wallet, with $200 cash and credit cards, was gone when she looked back. The NYPD says the man made $652 in illegal purchases with her cards, including one at the New Dorp Deli.

The NYPD released surveillance footage from the fourth case in the pattern (above) in an effort to bring him into custody. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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