Plainfield Police Warn of Pickpocketing at Panera Bread Locations

Plainfield police are warning of pickpocket thieves who have hit multiple Panera Bread restaurants in the Chicago area this month.

The latest incident was reported Monday, at a location along 127th Street in the western suburb. The theft marks the second in as many weeks, authorities said.

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An earlier pickpocket theft was reported at a Plainfield Panera Bread on Nov. 13 and officials suspect the thieves in that incident are the same ones who hit a Panera Bread in Munster, Indiana days earlier.

Plainfield police say they are working to get video of the suspects in Monday’s theft, but released images of the suspects in the other two thefts.

Police say stolen credit cards were used at a Target in Plainfield and elsewhere in Munster.

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“These ne'er do wells are good at what they do,” the department wrote in an earlier alert about pickpocket thefts. “They will take your wallet from your purse with you sitting there, or when you are checking out the different flavors of HaloTop. Before you know it, you will have bought thousands in gift cards or iPads or TVs or rare Pokemon cards that you never knew you wanted. But even worse, they sometimes will outright steal your identity.”

Similar cases have been reported in areas like southwest suburban Orland Park, where a 47-year-old woman was charged earlier this year with pickpocketing several customers at Panera Bread restaurants.

After her arrest, police warned there are other pickpocketing crews working in the area, and urged shoppers to keep their purses closed.

Authorities also recommend not leaving a purse unattended or hanging off the back of a chair at restaurants or in a grocery cart -- “even for a second.”

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