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Public’s Help Sought in Catching Thieves Who Stole Wallets, Purse in Goleta

Surveillance photos show two men suspected of stealing wallets and a purse at businesses in Goleta. Click to view larger
Surveillance photos show two men suspected of stealing wallets and a purse at businesses in Goleta. (Contributed photos)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is requesting public assistance to identify and locate two male subjects suspected of working together on Jan. 20, 2017, to steal two wallets and a purse from victims at various businesses in and around the Camino Real Marketplace located in the city of Goleta.

In two of the cases, the male suspects used a distraction technique in order to commit the crime without being noticed. The thefts occurred within one hour of each other.

The Sheriff’s Office is releasing surveillance photos from Costco where one of the thefts occurred.

In this case, the suspects entered the store at approximately 5:40 p.m. and went to the clothing section. The victim had her purse in the child seat of her cart parked directly next to her person as she perused a clothing table.

One suspect distracted the victim with an innocuous question as the second suspect used his jacket to conceal his arm while he reached into the victim’s purse and stole her wallet. The victim did not realize the theft had occurred until she went to check out.

Immediately after the theft, the two suspects left the store together via the entranceway.

The same suspects are also believed responsible for stealing a wallet out of a shopping cart at Albertsons adjacent to Costco, and for stealing a purse from a woman who had it seated on the floor next to her at Jane at the Marketplace restaurant.

The suspects both appear to be in their late 20s to early 30s and of Middle Eastern decent. The suspect who is wearing all black in the surveillance photos has acne scars on his cheeks and a distinct Middle Eastern accent.  

If you have any information regarding these suspects, you are asked to contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office at 805.683.2724 or to leave an anonymous tip call 805.681.4171.  

The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind citizens that the best way to avoid being targeted by thieves is to keep your purse zipped and on your person at all times.

Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.


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