Thieves steal old women’s wallets in Goleta
June 29, 2015
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for thieves who have been targeting elderly women in Goleta.
On one occasion, two women teamed up to steal a 77-year-old woman’s wallet, surveillance footage shows. In separate instances, a man stole the purses belonging to an 82-year-old woman and a 78-year-old, according to the sheriff’s office. The suspects used techniques to distract the victims in all three of the cases.
Around 1:30 p.m. on June 22, two female suspects entered the Ralph’s grocery store in the 5100 block of Hollister Avenue. The two women wandered the aisles of the store in search of a victim.
When they found the 77-year-old woman, one of the suspects talked to the victim while the other stole her wallet from her purse. The purse was in the victim’s shopping cart at the time.
The suspects then left the store and walked into the parking lot.
About 20 minutes later, a third female suspect entered a Walgreen’s in Goleta and used the victim’s credit card to purchase a $500 gift card, as well as a gift bag and a greeting card. The suspect attempted to purchase a second gift card, but the transaction was declined.
A Good Samaritan found the victim’s driver’s license in a nearby parking lot and sent it to her in the mail.
On June 4, a Hispanic male stole the 82-year-old woman’s purse in the parking lot of Albertson’s in the 5700 block of Calle Real. The suspect warned the woman while she was backing out of a parking space that she was about to hit a water bottle.
The woman got out of her car to inspect the water bottle. The man then reached into her car and took her purse.
On June 18, a Hispanic man approached the 78-year-old woman while she was sitting in her car in the 5800 block of Calle Real. The man asked the woman to move her car in order to make space for him.
The victim refused. At that point, the suspect opened the passenger door, stole the woman’s tote bag and ran away.
The woman said she saw the suspect pick up a water bottle from under her rear tire prior to fleeing.
The suspects are sought for burglary, grand theft, conspiracy and credit card fraud. The sheriff’s office asks that anyone who has information about the cases call (805) 681-4100.