Elm Grove police need help finding a pair of thieves

Jermont Terry

Elm Grove police need help finding a pair of thieves

CREATED Oct. 24, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct. 24, 2012

ELM GROVE- Elm Grove police believe there's a pair of thieves targeting women near grocery stores for purses and identities.

Police call it the diversion crime.

Investigators say someone gets your attention and while you're talking, a second person swoops in for the steal.  Elm Grove police are looking for a woman who is seen on surveillance video trying to get money from an ATM.  Police say the woman in the video is using a stolen card.

"They actually found somebody had tried to use my credit card," said Darla Close.  Close keeps her purse extra close these days after someone ripped her off.

Investigators say Close became a victim while shopping at the Aldi's in Waukesha on Arcadian Avenue.

"We believe the purse was stolen during a diversionary technique," explained Lt. Jason Hennen with Elm Grove police.

"An elderly lady came up and poked me and gave me a quarter for the cart," said Close.

Police say once the victim started talking to the first person, a younger woman came in and snatched the purse without Close's knowledge.

"I trusted her. You see somebody about your age, you trust them."

Elm Grove police say the woman who snatched the purse then walked into Jilly's Market on Bluemound Road and tried to use the stolen debit and credit cards.  Police found the stolen purse outside the store and linked the woman to the crime.

"We hope by reaching out to the public that maybe someone can step forward and say we know who this person is," said Lt. Hennen. Police fear the pair will strike again.

Police say the suspect has a tattoos on her back covering both shoulders.  If you can help Elm Grove police crack the case, contact them at 262-786-4141.