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Purses stolen from two grocery stores in Hingham

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  January 16, 2013 04:30 PM

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Photo courtesy of Hingham Police

Hingham Police are looking for this man, who they believe was involved in two separate incidents of purse theft in Hingham grocery stores

The sight is a familiar one – a shopping carts in a grocery store with an unattended purse sitting right in the front.

After two purse thefts occurring in Hingham within a week, police are reminding locals to be on guard.

According to police, the first incident happened at Whole Foods Store on Derby Street on Friday afternoon.

Police said a 66-year-old woman from West Chatman left her purse in the shopping cart for a brief time. When she went back to the cart, her purse was gone.

Police said the purse contained $1,000 cash, credit cards, a driver’s license, and a cell phone.

A witness saw a man walking out of the store carrying a purse matching that of the victim’s. According to the witness, the man was described as a white male, 5’7” – 5’10”, wearing a Nike baseball hat, gray or blue shirt, dark jacket, jeans, and sneakers.

On Sunday, a similar incident occurred at the Stop & Shop on Lincoln Street.

At 3:20 p.m., a 65-year-old Hingham woman was checking out of the grocery store and was unloading groceries from her cart to the counter. While she was looking away, her purse was taken out of the cart.

According to police, the purse contained $100 cash and credit cards.

The victim did not see the suspect, but a witness saw a man run out of the store while concealing an item under his sweatshirt.

In that instance, the man was described as having a tan complexion, being 5’9” – 5’10”, of stocky build with dark hair.

The victim’s credit cards had already been used at a gas station and store in South Weymouth before they could be reported stolen.

Surveillance photos from the Stop & Shop show the suspect entering the store and a short time later, run out of the store with the purse. He continued running across the lot but did not enter a vehicle.

“Police remind you to carry your purse with you and not leaving it in the shopping cart when in the aisle,” said Sgt. Steven Dearth in a release. “Also, when checking out, put your purse down on the counter in front of you before you start unloading your items. Besides the loss of cash and personal items in their purse, these victims need to be concerned about possible identity theft in the future.”

Although the thefts happened at different stores, because they happened days apart and at approximately the same time, police believe they may be related.

Anyone with information should call Detective Robert Mansfield or Detective Philip Emmott at 781-749-1212 or leave an anonymous tip at our Drop-A-Dime link on our website, www.hpd.org.

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