Statewide alert: Duo accused of stealing wallets from shoppers at grocery stores

ATHENS, Ga. — Authorities across Georgia are asking people to be on alert for two men accused of stealing wallets from people while shopping at grocery stores.

The Athens-Clarke County police department posted photos of the suspects on their Facebook page. Last week, a shopper reported that she stepped away from her cart, then one of the men reached into her purse and took her wallet.

“I was shopping and someone reached and stole my wallet right out of my purse and I was very close to my cart,” Susan Longo told Channel 2′s Kristen Holloway. “I’m not one to leave my purse open in my cart, I didn’t get more than two feet away for just a couple seconds.”

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Police said the two men then went to a nearby Sam’s Club in Snellville and used the victim’s credit card to buy $4,000 worth of gift cards.

But that wasn’t the only theft.

Police said the suspects used the same tactics earlier in the day to steal a wallet from a Lawrenceville grocery shopper.

The same suspects are accused of stealing another woman’s wallet from the Bobby Jones Walmart in the city of Appling in Columbia County, Georgia on June 30. In that case, deputies said the suspects used the victim’s credit card to spend more than $8,000 at a Sam’s Club.

The suspects were seen leaving the scene in a black minivan, possibly a Honda Odyssey, the Columbia County sheriff’s office said.

“It makes me angry. We work hard, we earn that money, that’s our money. That’s our livelihood and these guys are just taking it from people,” Longo said.

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Police want people to be aware of their surroundings and to not leave their personal belongings unattended.

“It’s important for shoppers to be aware of their surroundings,” said ACCPD Detective Nathaniel Franco. “These subjects were patient and waited until the victim turned her back to her grocery cart and left her purse open and unattended.”

If anyone has any information about the identity of the suspects or knows of their involvement in similar crimes in other areas, you’re asked to contact Detective Franco at 762-400-7100 or Nathaniel.Franco@accgov.com.

On 6/29/2021, these two subjects followed a female shopper around an Athens grocery store. When the shopper stepped away...

Posted by Athens-Clarke County Police Department on Tuesday, July 6, 2021