The same trio of alleged thieves has struck more than once, according to Philadelphia Police.
The trio that was caught on surveillance video pickpocketing a woman as she ate at a Center City restaurant earlier this month also allegedly hit up a diner at a Rittenhouse restaurant three months ago.
In video released Thursday, a woman is seen taking a wallet from a pocketbook of a diner at the Metropolitan Diner at 264 S 19th Street in the posh Rittenhouse Square section of the city on Sept. 20. About one hour after that theft, the woman and two men who allegedly served as lookouts, are seen at a South Philly Home Depot store buying $15,00 in gift cards with the victim's stolen credit card.
One of the men who served as a lookout in the earlier theft allegedly did the taking last week. On Jan. 10, at 8:45 p.m., two men and a woman entered the Rice & Mix Restaurant on the 1200 block of Walnut Street. Police say one man and woman distracted a clerk while the second man walked towards a 32-year-old woman who was eating.
Surveillance video shows the man sitting directly behind the victim as she ate, placing his jacket over her purse which was hanging on the back of her chair, and stealing her wallet. Police say the man then walked over to the other two suspects and had a brief conversation before all three fled the scene.
Sources told NBC10 that the same trio could be connected to other crimes, possibly as far as Wilmington.
“Your pocketbook, your belongings, you should always keep it in front of you,” said police Lt. Patrick Doherty. “If you can’t see your belongings or your handbag you’re at risk of becoming a victim of this type of crime.”
Police say they’ve seen a recent increase in pickpocket crimes in Center City in the past few months with thieves going after iPads, laptops, iPhones and cash.
The first suspect is described as a 40-year-old man with a full beard standing between 5-foot-9-inches and 6-foot tall. He was last seen wearing a blue Jeff hat, blue quilted pattern jacket, dark blue argyle print sweater, blue jeans and white sneakers.
The second suspect is described as a stocky, 40-year-old man standing between 5-foot-9-inches and 6-foot tall. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored baseball cap, dark-colored North Face jacket and blue jeans.
The third suspect is described as a 40-year-old, medium built woman standing about 5-foot-6-inches tall. She was last seen wearing glasses, a dark-colored baseball cap, dark-colored north Face jacket and blue jeans. She was also carrying a tan-colored pocket book.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of the suspects, please contact Philadelphia Police or 911.
Photo Credit: Surveillance Video