Portland/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 24, 2024
Portland Police Seek Public's Help to Identify Pickpocket Suspects Preying on ShoppersSource: Portland Police Bureau

The Portland Police Bureau is seeking assistance from the public in identifying a group of pickpocketing suspects who are targeting unsuspecting shop-goers in the region, with detectives indicating the possibility of unreported additional victims. According to a Portland Police Bureau news release, the criminals executed a brazen theft on May 9, swiping a 93-year-old man's wallet in a Costco parking lot on the 4800 block of Northeast 138th Avenue.

The elderly gentleman became a victim while shopping before the suspects, described as three men, made away with his wallet extracted from his left rear pocket. He later charged hundreds in gift cards using his credit cards at a Fred Meyer. The same men have a history of similar misdemeanors extending into the Seattle area, adding to the concern of ongoing activity across the state lines.

To crank up the heat on the chase, the PPB has made public a security video captured at the scene of the Portland theft. The footage not only shows the moment the 93-year-old had his wallet taken but also features the suspects sizing up potential victims and engaging in additional pickpocketing attempts, making their presence in the parking lot all the more predatory.

The released video serves a dual purpose: to aid in catching the accused and to serve as a wake-up call for individuals who were present at the time of the crimes and might not realize they, too, were preyed on. The police believe that people shopping at the time, entangled unwittingly in the suspects' web of deceit, are potential victims who remain unaware. Any shoppers with missing possessions from recent visits to the NE 138th Avenue Costco are urged to come forward to possibly help piece together the full scope of the suspects’ activities.

Authorities are especially concerned that more victims have not noticed the thefts, anticipating that the suspects’ spree is more extensive than currently understood. Portland residents are encouraged to come forward with any helpful information. Community members with details related to these incidents are asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau.