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Alleged Wallet Thieves Target Women At Glendale Restaurants

GLENDALE (CBSLA)  -- Security video shows two men walk into Panini Kabob Grill in Glendale Monday afternoon for lunch -- but they weren't there just for the grub.

They were there to grab  -- a woman's wallet and credit cards.

The men sat at a table right behind Ani Garibyan and her friends. With her back to the men, she had no idea what was about to happen. And it was captured on surveillance video.

Garibyan spoke to CBS2's Rachel Kim Friday evening.

"It makes me sick to my stomach," Garibyan says.

In the video, you see the man closest to Ani takes off his jacket and hangs it on the chair. He starts fiddling with his jacket and it soon becomes clear what he's up to.

"What he was actually doing was using his jacket as a shield to go into my purse. As soon as he got a hold of my wallet, he put his jacket back on and both of them just walked out of the restaurant."

Of course, Garibyan didn't know what was going on as she enjoyed lunch with her friends. But then the check came and she realized her wallet was gone.

"I just don't understand how people can do that. It's very violating to know that I was sitting there and right behind me, literally, behind my back, someone stole from me and that's what is really upsetting," she says.

When Garibyan posted the video on Facebook, she soon heard from five other women who said the same thing happened to them -- allegedly by the same men --  all in the downtown Glendale area.

"They should not be getting away with this," Garibyan says.

The crooks charged about $6-8,000 on her credit cards within 25 minutes. She now wants to warn others not to fall victim to these guys.

"You have to be mindful of where you are," Garibyan says, "don't hang your purse on a chair in a restaurant. I hold my purse very, very, very close to my person now."

Police said, unfortunately, this type of crime is common.

If you can identify the men, you're asked to give Glendale Police a call.


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