Philadelphia Police are searching for suspects who they say were captured on surveillance video pickpocketing a woman as she ate at a Center City restaurant.
On January 10, at 8:45 p.m., two men and a woman entered the Rice & Mix Restaurant on the 1200 block of Walnut Street. Police say the man and woman distracted a clerk while the second man walked towards a 32-year-old woman who was eating.
Surveillance video shows the man sitting directly behind the victim as she ate, placing his jacket over her purse which was hanging on the back of her chair, and stealing her wallet. Police say the man then walked over to the other two suspects and had a brief conversation before all three fled the scene in an unknown direction.
Sources tell NBC10 the same trio used the same method during a theft at the Metropolitan Diner on South 19th and Spruce Streets last September. They also say they may be connected to other crimes, possibly as far as Wilmington.
“Your pocketbook, your belongings, you should always keep it in front of you,” said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Patrick Doherty. “If you can’t see your belongings or your handbag you’re at risk of becoming a victim of this type of crime.”
Police say they’ve seen a recent increase in pickpocket crimes in Center City in the past few months with thieves going after iPads, laptops, iPhones and cash.
The first suspect is described as a 40-year-old man with a full beard standing between 5-foot-9 and 6-feet. He was last seen wearing a blue Jeff hat, blue quilted pattern jacket, dark blue argyle print sweater, blue jeans and white sneakers.
The second suspect is described as a stocky, 40-year-old man standing between 5-foot-9 and 6-feet. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored baseball cap, dark-colored North Face jacket and blue jeans.
The third suspect is described as a 40-year-old, medium built woman standing 5-foot-6. She was last seen wearing glasses, a dark-colored baseball cap, dark-colored north Face jacket and blue jeans. She was also carrying a tan-colored pocket book.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of the suspects, please call Philadelphia Police or 911.