Diner says thieves targeted her at Metro Atlanta restaurant

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A diner at a Cobb County Cracker Barrel restaurant said she became a crime victim there.

Channel 2′s Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose spoke with a victim who is warning families and walking us through how she was tricked.

The victim said the crime happened at the Cracker Barrel location on Chastain Road near Kennesaw State University.

“I want to be bold, but also want to be smart,” said the victim who asked to be identified under the alias of Jeannette Smith. She is worried because the perpetrators have her personal information.

“I probably look vulnerable,” she said. “I’m a senior citizen. I probably look like an easy target.”

Smith said one of the perpetrators held open the restaurant’s exterior door for her but then blocked her from entering the foyer. The pause permitted the other person to unzip Smith’s purse and steal her wallet.

“He acted like he was opening the door and holding it for me but he was actually blocking it so I couldn’t get through,” Smith explained.

Smith said how quickly the crooks acted is what truly caught her off guard.

“And they’re doing it in the foyer. Probably not just Cracker Barrel, other places with a foyer, with double doors. So you go in one door and then you have to go through the other door and there’s no security camera. It’s a very, very clever scam,” she said.

Within 30 minutes, the thieves were using the credit cards at retail stores, Smith said. One purchase included $3,000 worth of gift cards at Sam’s Club. Smith spoke with a manager who said he received multiple reports of a similar scheme. Police are investigating.

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“If this were your mother, if this were your sister, and somebody did that to them, how would you feel?” Smith asked.

A spokesperson for Cracker Barrel emailed a statement that said in part:

“After speaking with the guest on that particular day, we engaged local authorities for an investigation into the reported incident and stand ready to work with them.”

Smith is hoping retailers will install additional cameras to help stop these kinds of crimes.

“I’m begging all these restaurants, these department stores and places like that, that have these foyer areas, please put security cameras in there so this could stop,” she said.