Police seek trio of suspects in connection with recent store thefts
ACPD describes purse-raiding tactics, warns not to confront thieves directly
ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (May 12, 2020) — The Arkansas City Police Department is seeking help in identifying a trio of suspected thieves operating recently in several grocery stores in Arkansas City.
“It is apparent that this team is targeting area grocery and department stores,” said ACPD Capt. Eric Burr.
“The department cautions shoppers to keep their purses closed during outings and not leave them unattended for any period of time. If suspicious activity is observed, the department recommends not confronting the suspects, but rather reporting them immediately to store employees and calling police.”
A little after 11 a.m. April 30, an Arkansas City resident reported the theft of a wallet from her purse while shopping at Dillons, located at 425 N. Summit St.
A short time later, the victim’s credit card allegedly was used to make a large purchase of gift cards and clothing at Walmart, located at 2701 N. Summit St.
Investigators were able to recover video surveillance footage. However, the images show three suspects wearing masks and hats in Dillons. Two of the three suspects also appear on surveillance footage from Walmart, again with masks, which makes identifying the suspects difficult.
Police learned May 12 that the Arkansas City suspects possibly were captured on video in two separate stores in Wichita, committing the same crimes during the prior weekend.
The video surveillance from a grocery store in Wichita shows the three suspects allegedly looking into shopping carts, identifying open purses and removing wallets.
Credit cards stolen in this fashion were used later at another retail outlet to purchase gift cards.
The two male suspects look similar and police suspect they could be related. They appear to be in their 40s and may be between 5-foot-8 to 6 feet tall, each weighing between 230 and 260 pounds.
The female suspect appears to be in her late 50s or 60s and is shorter, possibly 5-foot-2 to 5-foot-6, weighing 190 to 220 pounds. The suspects may be traveling in a newer gray or silver sport utility vehicle.
Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of any of these suspects should immediately contact the Arkansas City Police Department at (620) 441-4444.
Those wishing to remain anonymous also may contact Cowley County Crime Stoppers, which offers rewards of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest.
An anonymous tip also can be submitted by texting ACTIPS to 847411.