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Kokomo police looking for trio of Black Friday wallet thieves

Police say a man and two women worked together to steal from shoppers at big box stores in Kokomo on Black Friday.

INDIANAPOLIS — Kokomo police are looking for a trio of thieves for allegedly swiping wallets right out of purses without Black Friday shoppers even noticing. Police believe a man and two women worked together to steal from shoppers at big box stores in Kokomo.

Charleen Freeman put her purse in the child seat in the shopping cart at Meijer last Friday, like usual.

"I always wrap the seatbelt a couple of times around, so if I'm not looking, they can't take the whole purse,” said Freeman, demonstrating how she straps her purse into the cart for security while shopping.

But she unzipped her purse to get something out and left it open while in the Meijer store Friday. While she shopped for Christmas candy for her grandkids, police say store security video shows a man reaching into her purse and stealing her wallet. 

Freeman was shopping with a debit card that she keeps in her pocket with her phone, so she went home unaware her purse was pilfered.

"I get a text from a one of the banks, a fraud alert asking if I had charged 200-and-some dollars at Walmart,” said Freeman. “That's when I noticed that my billfold was gone."

Police say the man and two women worked together on Black Friday at Kokomo big box stores, driving a dark-colored Audi. They charged $200 on Charleen's credit card at nearby Walmart, then another $200 at Walgreens, before a $700 charge at Walgreens was rejected.

Credit: Kokomo Police Department
Police say the thieves were in a dark-colored Audi while on their Black Friday crime spree.

When Freeman called police, she soon found out she was not alone. Kokomo police reported at least three separate victims of the three thieves, who allegedly worked together to distract their victims before one of them reached into a purse and stole their wallet.

The thieves only got $4 cash and some gift cards from Freeman’s purse. She is not responsible for the fraudulent charges, but she must deal with the hassle of getting a new driver's license and insurance cards.

Credit: Kokomo Police Department
Kokomo police released surveillance photos of three wallet theft suspects.

"It just seems so invasive,” said Freeman. “Frustration of my stupidity, too. They did the wrong deed, but I should have been more careful."

Freeman is on guard now, with her purse close by and closed.

Anyone with information on the identity of the suspects is urged to contact Kokomo Police Capt. Bruce Rood 765-456-7322. You can also leave an anonymous tip by using the Kokomo Police tip411 app. You may qualify for a cash reward by calling Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-262-TIPS.

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