Thieves steal purses, dress as victims, withdraw from bank accounts, Greenville Police say


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville City detectives say tens of thousands of dollars have been stolen in a sophisticated car break-in scheme.

For weeks, Greenville Police have been searching for a suspect they are calling a “wig-wearing purse poacher.”

Investigators say the suspect is targeting unlocked cars in gyms and public parking lots.

Greenville PD Public Affairs Manager Donald Porter says they aren’t just going for any car, he tells 7News there’s a pattern.

“What we are thinking happened is that the thieves are looking for females exiting vehicles without purses,” Porter said.

Detectives say the suspect is getting away with credit cards, debit cards, checks, drivers licenses, and even social security cards.

“They are then traveling to bank teller lines, traveling through there and cashing checks at multiple locations. Often times until the checking account or savings accounts is totally wiped out,” said Porter.

Investigators believe the suspect is a man using a disguise.

“They appear to have multiple wigs possibly using makeup as well to look like the victim,” he said.

Porter says half of all car break-ins are due to people leaving their vehicles unlocked.

He says the best way to avoid falling victim is to lock your car and hide your valuables. But there is another measure people can take. “If you are going to be going to a public place, park in a very visible location as well,” Porter told 7News.

Porter urges anyone who believes they may have been a victim to file a report with the Greenville Police Department. He says even if your valuables weren’t taken, but you think someone may have gone through your car, it’s important to report it. Porter tells 7News any and all information can help.

Tips should be called into CrimeStoppers at 23-Crime. Any information that leads to an arrest could be up for a reward.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Investigators with the Greenville Police Department said the suspects are accused of stealing purses and then draining the bank accounts of their victims.

Greenville Police said the thieve target women who leave their purses in vehicles in public parks and fitness centers.

The suspects then dress like the victims, using their photo ID’s, and withdraw from their bank accounts.

Anyone with information about the incidents should contact Crime Stoppers of Greenville at (864-232-7463). Tipsters can remain anonymous and possibly earn a cash reward.

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