Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying two women who are believed to be part of a crew involved with multiple theft and fraud cases at stores throughout Lee and Charlotte Counties over the last few weeks.
According to detectives, the females are making their rounds at Walmart stores throughout Southwest Florida by stealing items outright, as well as making fraudulent purchases. The suspects have been using diversion tactics in some of the instances, including one last week at the Walmart store located at 14821 Six Mile Cypress Parkway. While at that establishment, two women went to the cash register with a basket full of purchases. After the items were scanned by the cashier, one of the women asked for cigarettes. When the cashier turned her back, one of the women pretended to swipe a credit card, to imply she was paying for the purchase, while the second suspect reached across the counter to finalize the transaction on the register. When the employee turned around, it appeared that the sale had been completed, at which point the women were given a receipt and left the store with the items that they truly never paid for. This method has been duplicated at stores throughout the region, and the women caught on surveillance cameras are believed to be part of a larger enterprise targeting stores primarily in Southwest Florida.
Anyone with information on the identities and whereabouts of these women are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.