By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent

NEWTON (CBS) – Newton police are urging shoppers to be on the lookout for pick pockets targeting people at malls.

Investigators think the sophisticated thieves are working as a group.

Police say it happened at couple at Charlie’s Eating and Drinking Saloon at the Chestnut Hill Mall on the last Saturday in July.

Len Sherman and his wife had been shopping and had just sat down to dinner when a man and a woman sat down next to them and struck up a conversation.

At some point during the course of the conversation the man and woman stole the Newton couples wallet.

“So she sits down immediately to my wife’s right and says, ‘ooh your bag is there,’ how about I sit one over and we both share middle seat?” said Sherman.

Newton police believe the thieves actually handed off the credit cards during dinner and that someone else was charging thousands of dollars on the Newton couple’s credit cards while the original thieves were still sitting next to them.

“There was a third person who came along, a girl, and we did not see what the girl looked like, a younger girl. We figure she handed off the card to her who then went into the Apple Store while we were still sitting at Charlie’s,” said Sherman.

Police say the group of thieves rang up nearly $5000 on computers and high end in clothing in a matter of hours at several malls.

Police have surveillance store photo of the woman who actually stole the wallet. She is shown leaving the Target Store in Natick where she charged $800 later that same night.

“After talking with the victim it is apparent that these people were professionals,” said Newton Police Lt. Bruce Apotheker.

Police also believe the team of thieves were traveling in a later model black car, perhaps a Toyota or Hyundai, and it was last seen exiting the Chestnut Hill Mall.

The credit card company notified the couple and actually shut down the couples’ card some hours later.

The couple says they are not being held responsible for the charges.


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