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Holiday shopping brings out purse thieves
purse thief
This woman is suspected of stealing a purse and then using the stolen credit cards at Target in Turlock.

The Turlock Police Department is warning people to be mindful of their belongings while out shopping, as the department has gotten two recent reports of purse snatchings.

Both of the purse thefts happened in the 2800 block of Countryside Drive in the Monte Vista Crossings shopping district.

In the first case, which was reported around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the victim was a woman in her 90s, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Russ Holeman.

The woman had her purse in her shopping cart, but a short time after shopping in the store, she realized it was missing.

The woman lost all her credit cards, which it turned out were used within a short time at some of the other stores in Monte Vista Crossings, including at Target. Surveillance footage from Target was obtained of the women suspected of fraudulently using the credit card. The suspect is a white female adult, with light brown or blonde hair. 

The woman told officers that while she was upset at the loss of her purse and credit cards, she was mot disappointed at losing photos of her deceased husband, including some from his service in World War II.

The second theft happened just after 9 p.m. Sunday outside the Walmart store at 2111 Fulkerth Road.

The woman was placing items in her vehicle and had her purse in the shopping cart when it was snatched by three suspects, Holeman said.

The woman followed the suspects in her vehicle and contacted the police. She stopped following the suspects when one turned around and threatened to shoot her. The victim said she saw a firearm in the suspect’s waistband. 

Officers checked the area, but were not able to locate the suspects. 

The victim’s purse was recovered nearby, however, her cash was now missing. 

Suspects were two black males and one black female all in their early 20s.

The Turlock Police Department advises people to carry their purse with them while shopping, or if putting it in the shopping cart to use the buckles to strap it in.

Anyone with information about either theft or the suspects is asked to contact the Turlock Police Department at 668-5550.