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Purse snatchers target Turlock shoppers

POSTED February 6, 2010 12:28 a.m.
A pair of purse thieves are prowling Turlock’s shopping centers, setting their sights on unsuspecting women.
Within the last month there have been two purse snatchings reported at Turlock shopping centers and on both occasions, the descriptions of the suspects bore s similar resemblance to one another, Turlock Police Sgt. Nino Amirfar said.
The first incident occurred around 2 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Costco parking lot at 2955 N. Tegner Rd.
The victim was loading groceries into her vehicle, with her back to her shopping cart, when the theft happened.
A witness reported seeing an older white Acura Integra with a female driver and a male passenger, slow down as they approached the cart. The male suspect reached out the window of the car and snagged the woman’s purse, Amirfar said.
The second theft happened around 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Foodmaxx parking lot at 1845 Countryside Dr. This time, it was the female passenger who reached out the car window and grabbed the purse while the victim loaded groceries into her car.
The suspects in both thefts were described as white male and female teenagers. The vehicle they were seen in was described as a dirty white compact car, possibly an older model Acura Integra.
Patrol officers have been alerted to the thefts and an investigator is reviewing prior police contacts that involved Acura Integras, Amirfar said. Additionally, the department’s crime prevention coordinator has sent out an alert to Business Watch groups to be on the lookout for the suspects and their vehicle.
The police department encourages shoppers to lock up their purses and other valuables in their vehicle prior to unloading their groceries.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the Turlock Police Department’s Investigation Bureau at 664-7334.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.
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