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Paper or plastic? Grocery thief gets both

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A friendly conversation proved costly for a Stafford woman Sunday, police said.

Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy said the woman was shopping at Shoppers Food Warehouse at 1505 Stafford Marketplace off Garrisonville Road about 3:30 p.m. when a woman approached her and started a conversation about food products. Once the conversation was over, Kennedy said, the woman noticed that her purse was unzipped but she continued shopping.

When she went to pay for her items, she noticed that her wallet was missing. She immediately went home and learned that someone had just charged hundreds of dollars worth of electronics and other items on her cards at Best Buy and Target in the same shopping center. The Sheriff’s Office was then notified.

The woman who distracted her is described as a black woman between 21 and 29 years old and 130 pounds. She had long dreadlocks and was wearing a blue button-down shirt and blue jeans. There were other people around her, but it isn’t clear if anyone else was involved in the theft and subsequent purchases.

Area police have taken several recent reports about items from unguarded purses—or the purses themselves—being taken from shopping carts in local stores, including one later Sunday afternoon at the Giant at 1245 Jefferson Davis Highway in Fredericksburg. Police reported that a student had her wallet stolen; the wallet was found later on the University of Mary Washington campus and turned in, but the money was gone.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404


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