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Plano Thief Targeting Women Inside Grocery Stores

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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - Police want your help tracking down a man they say is stealing women's wallets out of their purses while they shop for groceries.

It's happened at least six times over the last several weeks at Plano grocery stores.

Market Street is one of two stores police say the thief has hit repeatedly, always in the afternoon, always targeting purses left in shopping carts.  Now investigators hope some clear photos of the suspect will lead them to him.

When  Taylor Jeske went grocery shopping, she had in her wallet money to pay for a mission trip to Uganda.

"We provide food for them 'cause they only get a few meals, and then we'll do wound care.  We'll take care of their wounds," Jeske said.

Investigators have tied the suspect to six similar thefts at Plano's Central Market and Market Street grocery stores.  In each case a wallet or wristlet is taken from the cart or a purse in the cart.  Jeske believes she may have even spoken to the man first.

"Someone distracted me.  We reached for the same thing at the same time, and then he like talked to me for a second, but the cart was on one side of me, so he may have grabbed it.  I don't know," Jeske said.

Officer David Tilley says in each case the thief strikes between 12:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon and immediately makes charges on stolen credit cards before they can be cancelled.

"More apt to get into the higher end grocery shopper that possibly, potentially would have a higher amount of money in their account," Tilley said.

Now as investigators hope someone will recognize the man in the photos, Jeske is urging everyone not to let down their guard in the grocery aisles.

"Just be more careful.  Don't be as trusting with your stuff.  It can happen to anyone.  Just hold on to everything at all times," Jeske said.

Jeske and her mom told us the man was able to charge $2000 within 20 minutes.  She also lost hundreds of dollars in cash.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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