Seniors targeted by purse thieves

2013-01-09T04:00:00Z Seniors targeted by purse thievesT&D Staff Report The Times and Democrat
January 09, 2013 4:00 am  • 

Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office

At least three senior women have been targeted for purse theft at Walmart in just over a month.

On Monday, a Santee woman was shopping at the North Road store around noon when she realized her purse was missing.

The victim said she had multiple personal belongings inside the purse, including credit and insurance cards. She said she didn’t see anyone around her at the time her purse went missing but added she wasn’t paying close attention.

Walmart loss and prevention employees told deputies that a male and a female were seen on surveillance video near the woman.

The purse theft is the third in a month, including last week’s report of a team of purse thieves.

A woman said she was on the coffee aisle Thursday when a male and female walked over. When she turned around a moment later, her purse was gone as well as the man.

She asked the woman who came in with the man who he was. The woman said she didn’t know what the victim was talking about. However, that woman ran off.

Video surveillance captured the incident, showing the sequence of events just as the 78-year-old woman described.

Deputies pulled pictures of the black male who was wearing jeans and a white hooded sweatshirt.

The victim’s home and car keys and jewelry were in the purse at the time it was taken. That victim was left without a means to start her vehicle or get into her home.

On Dec. 6, a Bamberg County woman had her purse stolen at the store. The 71-year-old said she had left it in her cart as she shopped. The purse contained four credit cards in addition to her car keys and driver’s license.

If anyone has any information on the thefts, they are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

In a separate string of incidents, thieves were breaking into cars at local hotels on Citadel Road.

Three out-of-state families on Monday reported more than $8,000 worth of items taken from their vehicles.

The first call from the interstate hotels came around 2 a.m. from an Ohio woman staying at the Fairfield Inn. She showed deputies her Mitsubishi, which had a smashed window. She said an air mattress and a comforter set were missing.

About three hours later, a New York couple at Comfort Inn and Suites reported their vehicle’s window smashed out, causing an estimated $800 in damage. A Bose radio and a Toshiba laptop, together worth about $1,100, were missing as well as the couple’s prescription medications.

Deputies then met with an Ontario couple also at Comfort Inn. They were missing nearly $7,300 worth of jewelry, electronics and clothing.

The couple said they discovered the window smashed out of their minivan around 5:30 a.m. A black Coach-brand bag that had an estimated $5,000 in jewelry was missing. Three suitcases of clothing, DVDs, and their daughter’s Canadian passport were also taken.

Authorities are looking for a late 1990s white Honda Civic with tinted windows. The vehicle and two black males wearing dark clothing were captured on video at one of the hotels.

If anyone has any information on the Honda or the two thieves, they are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Orangeburg Department of Public Safety

An Orangeburg man’s overly dramatic response to his brother’s arrest landed him in jail as well, according to a police incident report.

Police were investigating a case on Wilson Street early Friday when they encountered a man wanted by the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

As the officers attempted to arrest the one man, his brother grabbed him. The brother said “he had already been taken away from him for 2 1/2 years” and that he didn’t want to miss another day without him, according to a report.

Police told the brother to step back. For a few seconds, he did. But then he jumped forward again and tried to grab the handcuffs being placed on his brother, the report said.

After being warned several more times, the 20-year-old brother was charged with interfering with a police officer.

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