September 10, 2021
RE: Shopping thefts
Over the past few weeks, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputies assigned to the Ammon Division have taken several calls of theft and use of Financial Transaction Cards that took place at various retail locations. Through investigation Deputies discovered varying methods by groups of suspects who follow customers through a store looking for opportunity to take a wallet or purse from a shopping cart when the customer isn’t looking. The suspects are then passing credit and debit cards to others who are waiting or other suspects outside, who then immediately take those cards and use them at stores and gas stations for as much as they can before discarding them.
Deputies have been comparing this type of theft to others locally and surrounding areas, finding that most of the time suspects are not from this area, difficult to identify, and quickly leave the area after several uses of a stolen financial transaction card. Like traveling groups of retail theft suspects, these groups primarily target customers in stores and wait for the opportunity to take a purse or wallet from a shopping cart when someone’s back is turned. The victims don’t discover the theft until they go to pay for their own items and by then suspects have left the area.
This type of criminal activity is likely to increase as we approach the holiday season. Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputies remind everyone to pay close attention to items and valuables in your cart while shopping as well as valuables left in vehicles in parking lots. If you see suspicious activity, report it immediately to store personnel and/or Law Enforcement. Deputies recommend being a good witness to criminal activity by taking pictures or video to provide to Law Enforcement and never risk your own safety by confronting a suspect with unknown intentions.
As always, criminal activity and tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 208-522-1983, online at www.ifcrime.org, or by using the P3tips App on your mobile device which is available to download in the Apple or Google Play store.