Sheriff: Purse thief targets shopping carts

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The Placer County Sheriff's Office issued a warning to shoppers today to never leave their purses unattended in shopping carts. The warning follows a series of thefts in Auburn stores last week. Deputies began investigating purse thefts that occurred while shoppers were selecting merchandise from grocery store shelves, Public Information Officer Dena Erwin said Monday. Two of the thefts were caught on video at Raley's and Bel-Air stores in Auburn. The victims had placed their purses in carts and a male in his 20s is seen on video walking by and taking them while the victims' backs are turned. Video was reviewed and detectives have determined that the same suspect is responsible for two of the incidents and investigators are reviewing a third theft. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect is asked to call Detective Jim Hudson at (530) 889-7855. The suspect is described as 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall with a muscular build. In a security camera photo released by the Sheriff's Office, he is wearing a long, white T-shirt and black pants. – Gus Thomson