Detectives with the Rockford Police Department are investigating a series of credit card thefts from local stores and restaurants.
Many of the thefts have taken place at locations offering free Wi-Fi or in instances when shoppers are distracted. Women who leave their purses in their carts while shopping and turn away to pick something up are being targeted.
Within minutes of the theft, often before the victim realizes it, stolen credit cards are being used in local stores to buy a large amount of gift cards or prepaid credit cards. Frequently those gift cards or prepaid credit cards are then used on the same day or within hours of the theft in the greater Chicago area.
Suspect descriptions vary from incident to incident, but several surveillance videos of suspects have been obtained by police. Stills from those videos can be found in the slideshow to the right of this story.
Rockford police are asking anyone with any information on these thefts to contact them at 815-987-5824 or Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867.
Officers are also reminding individuals to never leave their belongings unattended in shopping carts or hanging on the back of chairs in restaurants.
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