Police searching for man accused of snatching purses, wallets at Matthews store

Matthews police are looking for a man accused of snatching women’s wallets and purses while they shop. 

Police say the crime is a good reminder to watch your belongings as we head into the holiday shopping season. 

“He goes through the stores and targets a female usually by themselves,” said Tim Aycock with the Matthews Police Department.  

All it takes is a couple of seconds: That's all the time this suspect needs to get what he wants. 

“He’s looking for an opportunity to reach in their purse for their wallet,” Aycock said. 

Matthews police say this man stole a woman's wallet at Costco, then went straight over to Best Buy. 

“They want to get their card and make big charges as fast as they can to get that money to buy high-end items." 

It’s not the first time the suspect has done this either. Police say he's linked to at least four larcenies at this Matthews store. 

“We used to enjoy going somewhere. Now you’re kind of looking around all the time,” Renee Helms said. 

“I normally don’t carry a purse with me so I don’t have to worry about someone grabbing it,” another shopper told FOX 46. 

Officer Aycock says for anyone shopping with a purse make sure it's zipped up and consider clipping it to the cart. 

“Make sure you keep it fasted. You can hook it through the cart through infant strap or a carabiner type thing,” Aycock said. 

Helms said she already does that.

“I lock it in the basket when I’m shopping I just take and fasten it a couple times so you can’t jerk it and run, and know my surroundings at all times,” said Helms. 

Aycock says the crime is a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings because crooks are out there.
 
“We're trying to educate people to plant that seed get in the habit of situational awareness,” he said. 
    
Police say consider signing up for text alerts every time your card is used. It may be annoying, but you will know right away if there's any suspicious activity.

Anyone who recognizes this suspect is asked to call the Matthews Police Department.