Mahoning Township police report three debit card and purse-snatchings/ thefts in busy grocery stores on Wednesday afternoon, and say the same men may be involved in all of the incidents, Police Chief Kenneth J. Barnes reported.
At 2:56 p.m., at the Giant supermarket, a purse was snatched from an 88-year-old Lehighton woman who was shopping in the store. She noticed a black male rush by her very quickly in an aisle, but took no further notice. When she went to pay for items at the register, she noticed her purse was missing. Police were notified and called to the scene. Security camera footage showed that a black male, about 6 feet tall, wearing a dark colored (black or dark blue) pea coat or sailor coat, dark jeans, white polo shirt with dark horizontal stripes, had snatched the purse from the shopping cart when the woman was not looking. Still photos of the suspect were obtained from the video footage.
At 3:40 p.m., a 67-year-old Lehighton woman discovered her purse had been snatched/stolen, while she was shopping at Aldi's. While shopping, she noticed a large black male standing near her, and when she went to pay at the register, she noticed her purse was stolen. The black male is the same as described in the incident at the Giant supermarket. There was another black male accompanying him, and he is described as wearing a black jacket, black shirt and a baseball cap. Both men left the store at 3:51 p.m.
At 4:17 p.m., the men allegedly went to the Wal-Mart Supercenter and used a debit card stolen from the Aldi's victim to make purchases in the electronics section of the store a laptop computer and a Sony Play Station 3 totaling $1,305.92. Store security footage shows that these are the same men involved in the other two thefts and that they were seen leaving the parking lot in a newer model maroon sedan, possibly a Honda model.
Anyone witnessing or having information is urged to call the Mahoning Township Police Department at (570) 386-2241.