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FISHERS, Ind. — Police in Fishers are warning residents about a group of thieves who are stealing from women’s purses and large handbags.

Earlier this month, a woman reported her wallet being stolen while she was eating at the Panera Bread on East 96th Street. The victims immediately went to the Super Target near 116th Street and I-69 and used the woman’s credit cards to purchase $5,000 in gift cards.

Detectives believe the thieves are working groups of two or three. The groups are made up of both males and females. They normally target lunchtime eateries located near large retail stores, according to FPD.

The Fishers Police Department offers these safety tips:

  • Always stay alert.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid becoming easily distracted (cell phones, laptop computers).
  • Always keep valuables visible.
  • Purses and handbags should be kept in your lap and never hung over the back of a chair.
  • Make certain purses and handbags are kept closed.
  • Set up fraud alerts on all credit/debit cards.
  • Immediately notify police if you think you’ve become a victim of theft.

Anyone with information about the theft at Panera Bread or any other thefts should contact FPD Detective D. Nelson at 317-496-2610.

(Photo by Sean Locke/Getty.)