Crime Stoppers: Criminals target women leaving items in cars - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Crime Stoppers: Criminals target women leaving items in cars

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – Property crimes investigators say it over and over again: don't leave valuables in your car, even if they're "hidden".

Still investigators are swamped with cases.

They have a little insight for us, what busted criminals admit to doing, targeting women.

Take a look at this surveillance photos. While they may just look like another shopper at Walmart, Chattanooga Police say the man in the yellow shirt is anything but that. They say he bought that TV with a stolen credit card. And he wasn't working alone.

"They didn't appear to be nervous at all. A lot of these people, if it's their first or second time, they seem nervous, but these guys it just seemed like another trip to Walmart." Officer Kendon Massengale says the pair went to Hamilton Skate Place, bashed the window of a car and swiped a purse, then headed just a stone's throw away to Walmart on Gunbarrel Road to spend the victim's money.

Massengale says they racked up about $500 in purchases there, then went to Walgreen's and spent about $50 on cigarettes.

"Yes, it's common," Officer Massengale says. "Beer, cigs, nothing to support their family, obviously though."

Investigators are hoping someone will recognize the pair, maybe even the car they're in. The crooks were bold enough to stop at the front door and load the car.

"It was very bold to me, in the front door," says Officer Massengale. "It doesn't seem to phase them, that what they're doing is wrong."

It was all caught on tape, but that tool only helps once the damage is done.

Massengale says they can't say it enough, never leave a wallet or purse in your car. Advice he passes along from the crooks themselves. "A lot of people we arrest cooperate and say they watch and target mostly women. And they watch them get out with their purse then it makes it real easy on them."

Police only know the pair was driving a dark colored sedan with some body damage and a missing hubcap on the rear driver's side.

If you know that car, or have any information,  pick up the phone and call Crime Stoppers at 698-3333.

You could get a cash reward, and the call is confidential.

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