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Boardman police warn of thefts

By RAYMOND L. SMITH

Staff writer

BOARDMAN — Township police are warning shoppers to beware of a scam in which victims are distracted by one person while a second reaches into open purses to steal wallets or other items.

Police Chief Todd Werth is asking people to be aware of their surroundings and use caution.

“People in restaurants and shopping areas need to be careful to keep their purses and pockets closed,” Werth said. “Thieves look for targets of opportunity.”

On Aug. 9, police received a report from a woman that her wallet was stolen while she was at the Panera restaurant, 7685 Market St.. The wallet had a debit card, medical insurance card and $100 worth of other items.

The debit card was used at Best Buy to purchase $1,693 worth of items, at Bed, Bath and Beyond to purchase $857.99 worth of items and Home Depot to purchase $500 worth — for a total of $3,050.99 worth of items.

Police also received a report July 5 of two men taking a wallet from a purse of a woman who sitting at a stool in BJ Restaurant, 7327 Market. St., and then used one of the victim’s credit card to make separate transactions of $427 and $392. Police believe the thieves attempted to charge items in Best Buy and at Sam’s Club.

The victim stated the wallet also had her Ohio driver’s license, credit and debit cards and blank checks.

On Aug. 9, police received a report from a woman that her wallet was stolen while she was at the Panera restaurant, 7685 Market St.. The wallet had a debit card, medical insurance card and $100 worth of other items.

The debit card was used at Best Buy to purchase $1,693 worth of items, at Bed, Bath and Beyond to purchase $857.99 worth of items and Home Depot to purchase $500 worth.

This type of crime happens periodically when people come in from outside of the area and target shopping areas for a period and then move on to the next community, Werth said.

“We sometimes get good surveillance video of the people who doing it,” he said. “We did not recognize the people involved in the BJ restaurant incident.”

rsmith@tribtoday.com