COLUMBIA — The Columbia Police Department is warning people to pay close attention to their personal belongings while shopping.
Within the past two weeks, police have received several reports of purses being stolen at grocery stores while the victim was shopping, Cpt. Zim Schwartze said. Three thefts and one attempted theft occurred on Feb. 29. Another theft occurred on March 4.
Most of the thefts took place around noon; however, one happened around 4:30 or 5 p.m, Schwartze said. Two were at the Gerbes Supermarket on Broadway, one was at Moser’s, and the other was at the Wal-Mart on Conley Road.
Schwartze said it’s possible these thefts are connected and that the suspect is a white woman, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, average build, with blondish-brown hair.
Anyone with information regarding these thefts can submit a tip on the Crime Stoppers Web site, 875tips.com.