Hillsborough MPs are looking for a group of pickpockets
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in identifying a group of pickpockets they believe operate throughout the Tampa Bay area.
In a news release, the sheriff’s office said they heard about the group after they stole a woman’s purse from a shopping cart at a Brandon Walmart in February. Authorities said the group consisted of three to four people.
The sheriff’s office said the group used a stolen credit card from the victim at another Walmart and McDonald’s.
On April 3, the sheriff’s office said three suspects matching descriptions of the group were seen rummaging through another woman’s purse while it was in a shopping cart at another Walmart in Tampa. They stole a gold Apple iPhone Max Pro that is worth over $1,000.
Detectives said the robbers also struck in other areas like Bradenton and Sarasota, and the sheriff’s office believes they are linked to other similar crimes in the Tampa Bay area.
“What started as a group of pickpockets creating a nuisance for a few people, has now grown into a network of criminals who show no signs of stopping if and when they see an opportunity,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister . “It’s about a group of bandits who use distractions to draw victims away from their valuables while another member of their group grabs what they want and then flies away before the objects not be discovered as missing.”
If you recognize any of these suspects or know their whereabouts, please call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200.
The sheriff’s office provided the following descriptions of the suspects and their vehicle:
Suspect 1: Caucasian or Hispanic male, approximately 30-45 years old, average build, last seen wearing a blue Addidas t-shirt, blue shorts, black shoes, black satchel, sunglasses and a face mask. Additionally, the male appears to have tattoos on the backs of both his calves.
Suspect 2: Caucasian or Hispanic female, approximately 25-35 years old, average build, last seen wearing a white cropped t-shirt, blue scarf, black shorts, black shoes, and a face mask.
Suspect 3: Caucasian or Hispanic male, approximately 35-50 years old, average build, last seen wearing a black and gray Adidas t-shirt, gray sweatpants, black backpack, shoes black, sunglasses and a face mask.
Suspicious vehicle identified: Possibly a black Chevrolet Cruz (model year: 2011-2014) or a Chevrolet Malibu (model year: 2013) with an unknown license plate.