Police in Huntington Beach were asking for the public’s help Friday in identifying a group of women sought in a series of “distraction burglaries” at various businesses in the area.
At least six incidents were reported over the past few months at businesses such as dry cleaners, nail salons, and day spas, according to a post on the Huntington Beach Police Department’s Facebook page.
Police believed the theft ring consisted of four to five Hispanic women.
In each case, the women took turns speaking with an employee a the business who was often working alone or with only a few customers, according to police.
While the victim was distracted, one or more of the other women took the victim’s purse or other items and fled.
Surveillance video of one such incident showed a woman in a light-colored shirt walking behind a counter and stealing an employee’s purse. The purse was then placed into a larger handbag that was being carried by another accomplice wearing a black shirt, the video showed.
The women being sought were described as between 20 and 40 years old, heavy-set and spoke Spanish and English.
One of the women had a large mole on her face.
Anyone with information was urged to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6627).