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Police: Suspect In OC Wallet Thefts Racking Up Charges At Department Stores

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IRVINE (CBS) — Police on Monday released surveillance video and photos of an Orange County woman suspected in a string of wallet thefts from several Southland businesses.

At least 9 people in 8 different office buildings have been victimized by the suspect in the month of March, according to Irvine police Lt. Julia Engen.

The thief has been racking up an average of $2,000 on stolen credit cards, Engen said.

Police have posted video footage of the suspect online that shows her at department stores such as Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and other retail giants, where she apparently charges as much as she can on the stolen credit cards before they can be canceled, according to police.

The suspect has dumped some of the wallets in the parking garages of the office buildings where the victims work, said Engen.

In some cases, it appears the woman has bypassed office security by following workers into their office spaces, Engen said.

“She goes in, blends in, finds an unattended wallet and swipes it,” Engen said.

The suspect is only targeting women, “probably in case she gets confronted,” the lieutenant said.

She is described as a white woman in her 30s or 40s, about 5’3″ to 5’5″ and weighs about 140 to 160 pounds, Engen said. She has been seen driving a newer-model white or silver Chevrolet Suburban with tinted rear windows and no license plates.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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