Brookfield police are warning citizens about thieves stealing wallets and purses after distracting elderly women with questions.
"Shoppers should always be aware of their surroundings and always stay with
their purses and property," Police Capt. Jim Adlam said. "Be aware of strangers striking up conversations trying to distract you. It only takes a few seconds for criminals to be off with your cash and credit cards."
In a crime alert, Brookfield police said elderly women appeared to be targeted in thefts this month at Panera Bread, Piggy Wiggly and Fresh Market. White males ages 40 to 65, possibly with heavy Eastern European accents, stole several women's wallets and purses and tried to use their credit cards at neighboring Target and Best Buy stores.
Video surveillance also showed a woman involved in the potential theft ring, the alert said. The thefts occurred between noon and 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, 16 and 20.
Anyone with information about the thefts is urged to call Brookfield Police at 262-787-3702.
With the busy holiday season in full swing, Capt. Adlam urged shoppers to be careful to hide any purchases.
"Do not leave bags of gifts or valuables in view in your vehicles," he said. "If you are going to lock your valuables/purse in your trunk, do it before you get to the mall parking lot. If criminals are in the lot they will see you putting your belongings in the trunk. Be safe, be smart, and stay alert."