Pickpocket ring targets Miami Valley Panera locations

Local News

2 NEWS began asking questions after a woman fell victim to a pickpocketer at the Panera Bread at the Greene.

Thousands of dollars were racked up on her credit card in a matter of minutes. 

Now, detectives in Englewood are warning their residents to be on the look out at their local Panera. 

In Englewood there are 2 active cases involving what police believe to be the same pickpocket ring hitting Panera stores all along the I-70/I-75 corridor. 

Be sure to watch the above video to get a better idea of how the suspects operate. 

Detectives say the group often dresses nice, but are actually transient. They will sit down as if they are regular patrons as well. The ring usually works in groups of two’s, with one lookout and one pickpockter.

They target unzipped purses and purses that are hanging on chairs. 

Often times the suspect will actually bump the person they are targeting and play it off as an accident. 

“It’s part of their MO. Sometimes they will bump the chair,” said an Englewood detective.

The Englewood Police Department says their cases match one from Beavercreek that happened just weeks ago.

We talked to one victim who had charges on her card within minutes of leaving Panera.

“It was very shocking to me. It was broad daylight. One in the afternoon and someone was brave enough to be within inches of me,” said Jennifer Anger. 

Detectives confirm these same people have been caught on camera as far as Omaha and Kanas City.

Same clothes. Same gig.

“I try to be conscious of protecting my belonging. Sometimes I forget. Probably in a very human way. I guess I’ll try to be better!,” said Margaret Muse, a Panera Patron. 

The ring tends to go straight to Target or BestBuy and rack up very expensive purchases.

Panera has not responded to our requests for comment. 

Some of the individuals caught on camera have been identified but police say they have potentially fled the country. 

It’s recommended that people zip their purses up and keep them in sight at all times. 

If you recognize anyone in the above video, call your local police department. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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