Thief filches wallet at Short Pump bar, goes on $5,000 shopping spree nearby

Posted at 6:18 PM, Dec 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-11 18:18:38-05

HENRICO, Va. – A thief made off with a wallet from a patron at a Short Pump restaurant, and went on an expensive shopping spree nearby.

A woman’s wallet was stolen out of her purse at Bar Louie, on the outskirts of Short Pump Town Center, according to police sources. She was having an early dinner and her wallet was swiped unbeknownst to her.

Investigators said whoever nabbed it, quickly went shopping.

They racked up at least $5,000 worth of credit card charges.

"A lot of times people have their purses hanging on chairs or on their person, but they still lose sight,” said Lieutenant Chris Eley, Henrico Police Public Information Officer.

"Within two hours more than $5,000 in charges on the victim’s credit cards,” Eley said.

The thief bounced from store to store in the suburban shopping mecca: Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, Walmart and Kohl’s.

"I keep my purse attached to my shoulder or in between my lap and zipped at all times,” said one shopper.

Police said those are all good suggestions and offered another tip to prevent people from becoming victims to what police call a crime of opportunity.

"Shrink down what you carry,” they said. “If you are going shopping, take a wallet where you can slip your driver’s license, cash and credit cards into your pocket."

These restaurant style thefts happen sporadically here in the West End, but police said with the holiday shopping season underway, more criminals are looking for opportunities.

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