Hold Your Purse: Movie Theater Thefts

Say you're sitting in the movies and have your bag on the floor.

Police say the thieves get a hold of it from behind, quickly and quietly remove the credit cards, then put the bag back.

Officers say in many cases, they also leave the theater while the movie is still playing.

Detectives say on 15 separate occasions since mid-December, women had their credit cards stolen from their purses while watching movies at the Tilton 9 Theater in Northfield.

Chief Robert James from the Northfield Police Department believes "it's indicative of a team effort… I don't see 15 individuals coming in and committing the same type crime in that same location."

Right now, investigators are trying to track down the four women seen shopping in several surveillance photos.

Police say the culprits used the stolen cards to ring up well over $10,000 in merchandise at various stores including Wal-mart and Best Buy in Atlantic County as well as other stores in Gloucester County.

Moviegoers have only been targeted in older theaters with pitched floors, as opposed to newer, stadium-style seating.

Police think tough economic times are fueling the illegal spending sprees, because the thieves have generally been buying food, children's clothing and alcohol, not big-ticket items.

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