Beware the "baby stroller bandits," a pair of middle-aged women working together to steal wallets from purses on baby strollers. While the two are suspected of multiple thefts, police are also not ruling out the possibility that other thieves are committing similar crimes.
The LAPD released this video depicting the two thieves double-team an unsuspecting mother at a Downtown LA swap meet. The mother steps away to shop, leaving her open purse hanging on a stroller. A woman in white and a woman in tan surround the stroller and pretend to browse. At minute 0:56 of the YouTube video, the woman in white tries to fish out a wallet but fails. Later, at minute 2:38, the woman in tan blocks the mother's view as the woman in white successfully steals the wallet.
The toddler in the stroller wasn't harmed, but in an LAPD blog, Lt. Paul Vernon warns that this might not always be the case. "While the crime may seem minor, it’s scary because the victim’s child is so close and vulnerable," says Vernon. He adds, "Imagine a thief reaching into a stroller to take a purse, and the strap becomes tangled with the child as the thief tries to run away... Forewarned is forearmed.”
The LAPD encourages anyone who has more information on the suspects to contact them via phone, text, or web. Detective Mike Mazzacano can be reached at 213-972-1231, but if you prefer to leave an anonymous tip, call or text Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (all texts should begin with "LAPD"). Tips are also accepted at LAPDOnline.org at "webtips."