SPRINGDALE, Ohio -- Police in Springdale believe Panera Bread is the primary target for a number of credit card thefts in the area.
Three white female and two black female subjects were caught on camera leaving stores such as Target and Best Buy after making purchases with the stolen cards, officers said. The purchases date back to June and are as recent as Aug. 17.
The lead detective on the case said he believes the cards were taken from the victims' purses that were left on the back of their chairs while they eat at Panera.
Investigators said they believe men who brush up against the unknowing victims are lifting the credit cards.
The cards are then given to the female suspects who do the shopping.
"We've even had circumstances where the victims believed their purse was zipped up, still hanging on the back of the chair -- so my advice, if you can put it on the floor, in between your legs, on your lap somewhere safer where it's touching you and in front of you,” Detective Keenan Riordan said. "You think its safe being on the back of your chair. You think, I'll feel it. I'll feel someone brush up into you. I'm sure that's what each of these women thought the same thing too. Most of them didn't feel anyone brush up. They didn't realize anything was taken until much later on."
Officers said that in some cases, the cards were stolen and used in the store while the victim is still shopping.
There have been several thefts in Springdale as well as other locations including Springfield Township and Colerain Township.
If you recognize the suspects in the photos you can call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.
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