Watch your wallet: Slick thief targeting customers at local restaurants

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PARMA HEIGHTS-The FOX 8 I-TEAM has obtained exclusive video showing a suspect who police say has targeted customers at suburban restaurants, and you could be the next victim.

Video from Parma Heights police shows someone quickly and casually swiping the purse from the back of the chair of an elderly woman. Then the thief sits a few feet away at a table, and investigators say there she steals the victim’s credit cards. Finally, the woman calmly puts the purse back on the victim’s chair. All of it unnoticed.

Police in Strongsville say they had a similar crime carried out by the same woman.

Investigators say both victims were 87 years old, and the thief immediately ran up big bills on the credit cards.

The victim in the Parma Hts case didn`t even realize she`d been ripped off. Didn`t even notice for days until the next time she went to pull out a credit card. Then she finally found out her cards were gone. And then, she still had no idea what had happened with her purse on the chair at the restaurant until police started investigating.

The victim told police, “Opened my wallet, looked in, and all my credit cards that I use were missing."

Parma Hts detective Luke Berry said, "I wouldn’t be surprised if there have been plenty of victims since our case." He pointed out, the crook seemed too smooth and confident to be a rookie at this.

Berry added, "I think this is a good reminder for us during the season. We're all gonna be out shopping more, things like that. She's looking for people that are in conversation, not paying attention to where they put their stuff."

For now, investigators are hoping you can help identify the woman in the cases under investigation in Parma Hts and Strongsville.

If you can help, call Parma Hts police at 440-481-3099 or Strongsville police at 440-580-3230.

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