Chicago police are issuing new warnings to the public after a man stole wallets from purses at nearly two dozen locations across the city.
According to authorities, the victims in the incidents were either shopping in retail stores or eating at restaurants when their wallets were taken out of their purses. Some of the victims hung their purses on the backs of their chairs while dining at the establishments, allowing the thief to easily pick the wallet out from the purse.
After the thief stole the wallets, he utilized credit cards for various purchases, police said.
"They can use your credit cards before you know they're gone," retired Chicago police officer Matt Giliberto said.
The suspect in the thefts is described as an African-American man between the ages of 40 and 55, but no other details were made available.
The thefts occurred at the following locations:
- 600 block of W. Randolph St. on July 12, 2019 between 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM
- 500 block of W. Madison St. on July 15, 2019 at 1:30 PM
- 200 block of W. Lake St. on July 18, 2019 between 1:25 PM and 2:05 PM
- 400 block of S. Wells St. on July 18, 2019 between 1:45 PM and 4:00 PM
- 200 block of W. Randolph St. on July 19, 2019 between 11:45 AM and 1:40 PM
- 200 block of W. Adams St. on July 23, 2019 between 9:15 AM and 3:00PM
- 0-100 block of S. Franklin St. on July 24, 2019 between 11:30 AM and 12:00 PM
- 200 block of W. Washington St. on July 24, 2019 between 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM
- 100 block of N. Riverside Plaza on July 26, 2019 at 3:04 PM
- 200 block of S. La Salle St. on July 29, 2019 between 12:10 PM and 12:50 PM
- 200 block of S. Clark St. on July 29, 2019 at 1:10 PM
- 400 block of S. Wells St. on July 29, 2019 between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM
- 100 block of N. Wacker Dr. on July 31, 2019 between 12:30 PM and 1:15 PM
- 200 block of S. Clark St. on July 29, 2019 at 1:00 PM
- 0-100 block of S. La Salle St. on August 01, 2019 between 1:30 PM and 1:45 PM
- 100 block of N. Clinton St. on August 01, 2019 at 2:15 PM
- 200 block of W. Washington St. on August 02, 2019 at 2:00 PM
- 100 block of N. Franklin St. on August 06, 2019 between 11:30 AM and 12:45 PM
- 200 block of S. Wacker Dr. on August 08, 2019 between 1:05 PM and 1:45 PM
- 200 block of W. Adams St. on August 12, 2019 at 1:45 PM
Police are encouraging businesses to keep the perimeter of their properties well-lighted, and to keep up-to-date video surveillance equipment on premises.
"My best advice is not to hang a purse on the back of a chair," Giliberto said. 'Hold onto it, zip it up, and have it close to you."