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Shoppers should be more vigilant during holidays, police say


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RIVERDALE — Plenty of thieves use the holiday season for a crime of opportunity, but police say it doesn't take much to prevent these crimes either. The problem is too many shoppers let their guard down.

Surveillance video recorded Friday night at a Wal-Mart in Riverdale shows two suspects walk into the store empty-handed at 6:41 p.m. About 90 seconds later, the video shows them walking back out, this time pushing a cart with a purse inside — a purse that did not belong to them.

It was a crime of opportunity, according to Riverdale Police Lt. James Ebert.

"(The) victim goes shopping, pushes her cart in to where the carts are stored, leaves her purse there," Ebert said.

Similar crimes happen often during the Christmas season, he said. More thieves than usual are out looking for those opportunities, both in the stores and in parking lots.

"So we really encourage people to put your purses under your arm, make sure they stay zipped up," Ebert said.

He also said shoppers should lock their car doors and keep shopping bags and packages out of plain sight. Most thieves, he said, are looking for an easy grab.

Ebert also said it's not uncommon for thieves to work in pairs: one to distract you, and the other to quickly walk over and your wallet while you're not looking.

"It's that time of year, so I'm sure they'll take advantage of any opportunity they get," said Kristen Brown, a Riverdale shopper.

If you recognize the two women in the Wal-Mart surveillance video, you're asked to call Riverdale police at 801-394-6616 or the Weber County Sheriff's Office at 801-629-8221.

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Mike Anderson

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