CONCORD (KRON) – The holidays are coming up, and many of you may be hitting the malls to get a head start on holiday shopping.
But after a couple of incidents that happened at a few shopping centers in Concord, police are warning you to stay alert.
They'll swipe them off tables, rip them straight out of your hand, and most recently, they've approached victims while they're in their car, smash their windows, and reach in.
Purse snatchers have been hitting hard in Concord, specifically in shopping centers like the Verandas and Willows along Diamond Boulevard.
As we approach the holiday season, shopping centers are becoming a target for thieves, but police say a number of incidents have happened in the last couple of months with the most recent one this past Monday.
"Black male, between the ages of 17 and 20 with a slender build, with a hoodie that's pulled tight over their face so only their eyes are exposed," Concord police Cpl. Summer Galer said. "In the incidents that happened in October, the suspect vehicle is a newer model black Honda, either a Civic or an Accord, and this last incident that occurred on Monday, it's a white Mercedes SUV."
Police say that these purse snatchers look for women who are alone and once they grab their purse, they get into getaway vehicles that have paper license plates.
CONCORD, Calif. (KTVU) – Concord police are alerting the public to a recent string of brazen purse thefts. Concord police spokeswoman Cpl. Summer Galer said Wednesday that in four separate incidents in October, female victims were robbed after coming out of retail establishments.
The four thefts all occurred in the area of Willow Pass Road and Diamond Boulevard, near Willows Shopping Center between Oct. 4 and Oct. 12.
In three of the cases, the victims placed their purses next to them on the passenger seat of their vehicles after coming out of retail establishments. The suspect then smashed a window and grabbed the purse from the seat.
In another case, the victim left a retail establishment with a bank bag when a suspect approached her, punched her in the arm and took off with the bag.
In each case, the suspects fled the scene in a nearby vehicle outfitted with temporary paper license plates. The victims in each case were also alone when they were robbed.
The suspect has been described as a male between 17 and 20 years old with a thin build. The suspect vehicle in three of the incidents was described as a newer model black Honda with tinted windows and paper plates from a Honda dealership.
The suspect vehicle in the fourth case was described as a white early 2000s model Mercedes-Benz SUV with paper plates from the Hendrick Automotive Group.
Police are encouraging the public, especially as the holiday shopping season begins, to remain aware of their surroundings.
To minimize the risk of purse thefts, police recommend keeping a purse out of sight if possible and for the public not to get distracted by their cellphones, especially when walking through parking lots.