Covington police seek two suspects in brazen wallet thefts

COVINGTON - Covington police are asking for the public's help in locating a pair of thieves who have reportedly stolen women's wallets out of their purses in recent weeks.

According to Det. Daniel Seals, spokesman for the Covington Police Department, the duo, a black man and woman, have targeted shoppers at Wal-Mart and Kroger. The thefts have reportedly cost the victims a total of between $1,000 and $1,500.

Seals said the thieves work as a team to steal from their victims.

"One person will ask the victim a question, "Oh, hey can you help me get this,' "Can you help me with this,' or "Hey, I'm trying to make this' ... they get their attention and the other person, who sometimes isn't even seen, reaches in and takes the wallet," he said. "Most victims don't even know the wallet is gone, until they go to pay for whatever they're there buying."

After stealing from their designated marks, Seals said the two then flee in a black sedan to spend the loot. Seals said the thieves have been spotted at the Mall at Stonecrest, as well as several locations in Lithonia, spending the victims' cash and using their credit cards.

The CPD spokesman added he believes the crimes are ones of opportunity for the suspects and indicated they don't discriminate on the basis of age, as the victims have ranged from young to old.

"I would caution people, not just about these (suspects), but in general, to be aware of your surroundings," Seals advised.

Seals asks anyone with information regarding the identity or whereabouts of the suspects to call him at 770-385-2144 or send him an e-mail at daniel.seals@covingtonpolice.com. Tips can be given to the CPD anonymously by visiting their Web site at www.covingtonpolice.com and clicking on "contact us" and then "secret witness."

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com.