Brownwood area retailers have been alerted to a rising trend of wallet theft in recent weeks. Brownwood private investigator Sid Phelps told the Examiner that the number of wallet thefts for the month of April so far is up 400% as compared to April 2015. “Last April we only had a report of two wallets being stolen. This year we’ve had eight.”
Phelps added that area merchants are growing ever concerned that wallets are disappearing from their shelves. “What we’ve seen is people going in to Wal-Mart, walking around over by the belts, then going up to the wallets and swiping an Alpine Swiss bi-fold right off the shelf.”
The thefts don’t seem to be limited to Wal-Mart, as other area retailers have reported both bi-folds and tri-folds missing from inventory. “What we’re seeing here is someone stealing wallets to resell online whether it be Craigslist or one of the many Brownwood Online Garage Sale pages on Facebook. We are afraid these online garage sales are becoming a black market of stolen, high end Wal-Mart wallets.”
“Purses aren’t immune either in the Brownwood Micropolitan Region. We spoke with mall walker Keri Dwayne, who told us she’s seen a rash of purse snatchings and chain snatching at Claire’s. ” It always happens with teenage girls. One minute they are in the store, the next minute their purse is gone and they have a larger purse.” Dwayne feels that if wallets could be stuffed into each other, the wallet theft problems would be even worse.
Phelps is asking for the public’s assistance in the matter. “If you see anyone snatching a wallet or purse, or if you see an unusual wallet or purse for sale on Facebook or Craigslist, please reach out to us. Don’t try to be a hero by stopping them yourself. These people could have arms and be dangerous.”
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